Francois Furet’s writings on the French Revolution radically changed the way the Revolution is interpreted. His work represented an important break with the traditional historiography of the Revolution, earning him a place in the Academie Francaise in 1997, the year of his death. Beginning with Interpreting the French Revolution (translated from the French Penser la Révolution française) he questioned traditional, Marxist-based interpretations and instead sought out the political in an effort to provide a conceptualisation of the French Revolution. In doing this he examined the role of opinion, language and power in propelling the Revolution and drew attention to the importance of revolutionary discourse. Furet found models for this approach in the famous liberal Alexis de Tocqueville and a little-regarded Catholic historian, Augustin Cochin (1876-1916) both of whom he regarded as “the only historians who have proposed a rigorous conceptualisation of the French Revolution”. His later works, including La Revolution francaise and the Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution (co-edited with Mona Ozouf), fulfilled the promise of the seminal Interpreting the French Revolution and provided solid historical evidence for Furet’s broad conceptualisation.