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Paris Between Empires
Synopses & Reviews
“Lovingly written and a rich, satisfying read.” ---Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of The Prince of Princes: The Life of Potemkin
“This excellent book is full of insight and revealing detail.... Philip Mansel evokes the vanished glories of social and cultural life in early nineteenth-century Paris.” ---Richard Vinen, author of A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century
“This excellent book is full of insight and revealing detail.... Philip Mansel evokes the vanished glories of social and cultural life in early nineteenth-century Paris.” ---The Financial Times
“Bold political drama.... Wonderfully lucid and learned.” ---The Sunday Telegraph [U.K.]
“Gripping and delightful.... Philip Mansel has excelled himself---one only wishes that he had not stopped at 1852. Never have the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 been so vividly conveyed in accounts that combine high life and low life, blood in the streets and fear in the salons.”---The Sunday Times [U.K.]
“Absorbing and admirable.... Philip Mansel has written an excellent, entertaining history.”---The Spectator [U.K.]
“Fascinating...no one seriously interested in nineteenth-century France can fail to learn something from this learned and detailed book.” ---The Daily Telegraph [U.K.]
“Vivid and enjoyable.” ---The Times [U.K]
“Invigorating. Without its seething vermin and its gallivanting lords, modern Paris seems a sad place by comparison.” ---Literary Review [U.K.]
“A superb evocation of that extraordinary period that saw the reigns of Napoleon I, Louis XVIII, Charles X, Louis-Philippe, the Second Republic, and Napoleon III.” ---Andrew Roberts, The Sunday Telegraph [U.K.]
In this social history of Europe's most famous city during its golden age, Mansel tells the story of the political turbulence, dynamic intrigue, violence in the streets, and the societal wars that took place in upper-class salons. 32 page photo insert.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 522-543) and index.
Paris between 1814 and 1852 was the capital of Europe, a city of power and pleasure, a magnet for people of all nationalities that exerted an influence far beyond the reaches of France. Paris was the stage where the great conflicts of the age, between nationalism and cosmopolitanism, revolution and royalism, socialism and capitalism, atheism and Catholicism, were fought out before the audience of Europe. As Prince Metternich said: When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold. Not since imperial Rome has one city so dominated European life.
Paris Between Empires tells the story of this golden age, from the entry of the allies into Paris on March 31, 1814, after the defeat of Napoleon I, to the proclamation of his nephew Louis-Napoleon, as Napoleon III in the Hôtel de Ville on December 2, 1852. During those years, Paris, the seat of a new parliamentary government, was a truly cosmopolitan capital, home to Rossini, Heine, and Princess Lieven, as well as Berlioz, Chateaubriand, and Madame Recamier. Its salons were crowded with artisans and aristocrats from across Europe, attracted by the freedom from the political, social, and sexual restrictions that they endured at home.
This was a time, too, of political turbulence and dynastic intrigue, of violence on the streets, and women manipulating men and events from their salons. In describing it Philip Mansel draws on the unpublished letters and diaries of some of the citys leading figures and of the foreigners who flocked there, among them Lady Holland, two British ambassadors, Lords Stuart de Rothesay and Normanby, and Charles de Flahaut, lover of Napoleons step-daughter Queen Hortense. This fascinating book shows that the European ideal was as alive in the nineteenth century as it is today.
About the Author
Philip Mansel, who has lived and taught in Paris, is the author of, among other works, Louis XVIII, The Court of France 1789-1830, and Constantinople: City of the Worlds Desire 1453-1924. He coedited The French Emigres in Europe 1789-1814, has written for numerous newspapers and periodicals, and is editor of the Court Historian, newsletter of the Society for Court Studies.
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