This just in!

Fascinating relics of perhaps the world's first real efforts at photo-journalism showed up in London this week. Up to now I'd only read about the quaint old Parisian custom of picking up paving stones and assembling them in neat piles for the sport of battling the troops of an offending regime. But there they are! And in a newspaper!

Unfortunately we don't seem to be able to emulate Monsieur Thibault his success 154 years later, since both our own regime and that of its colleague-in-arms, Ariel Sharon, are able to keep journalists away from the nasty business of their own troops.

All did not end well in 1848, but liberalism and socialism were not destroyed either.

Revolts in Vienna, Hungary, Prague and Milan were also crushed, but not without forming part of the legend that inspired European socialists for more than a century afterwards.

Vive la Revolution!