• The greatness of a popular character is less according to the ratio of his genius than the sympathy he shows with the prejudices and even the absurdities of his time. Fanatics do not select the cleverest but the most fanatical leaders as was evidenced in the choice of Robespierre by the French Jacobins, and in that of Cromwell by the English Puritans.

    Alphonse de Lamartine (1854). “Memoirs of celebrated characters”, p.157