Paris Between Empires by Philip Mansel
Monarchy and Revolution 1814-1852

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Synopsis

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 In describing it Philip Mansel draws on the unpublished letters and diaries of some of the city’s leading figures and of the foreigners who flocked there, among them Lady Holland, two British ambassadors, Lords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 Napoleon’s step-daughter Queen Hortense. This fascinating book shows that the European ideal was as alive in the nineteenth century as it is today.
 

About Philip Mansel

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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 World’s 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.
 
Published April 5, 2003 by St. Martin's Press. 576 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

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Historian Mansel (Louis XVIII) offers both the political and social history of Paris during the tumultuous period between Napoleon I and Napoleon III.

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