Published in 1912, when Anatole France was sixty-eight, The Gods Will Have Blood is the story of Gamelin, an idealistic young artist appointed as a magistrate during the French Revolution. Gamelin’s ideals lead him to the most monstrous mass murder of his countrymen, and the links between Gamelin and his family, his mistress and the humanist Brotteaux are catastrophically severed. The Gods Will Have Blood recreates the violence and devastation of the Terror with breathtaking power, and weaves into it a tale which grips, convinces and profoundly moves. The perfection of Anatole France’s prose style, with its myriad subtle ironies, is here translated by Frederick Davies with admirable skill and sensitivity. That The Gods Will Have Blood is Anatole France’s masterpiece is beyond doubt. It is also one of the most brilliantly polished novels in French literature.