Cover image for Napoleon III and his regime : an extravaganza
Napoleon III and his regime : an extravaganza
Baguley, David.
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Publication Information:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xxii, 425 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
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DC276.5 .B34 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Author Notes

David Baguley holds the Chair of French at the University of Durham, England

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte was the nephew of Napoleon I, and he was quite conscious that he reigned in the shadow of his uncle. History has not judged him favorably. In domestic affairs, he presided over the cultural brilliance of France, but the Second Empire, which he founded, was politically corrupt and authoritarian in an era that cried out for an enlightened liberalism. In foreign affairs, his immense ego led to meddlesome blunders and a humiliating defeat by Germany. Of course, there is more to the man and to his career. Baguley, a French specialist at the University of Durham, England, uses a variety of sources, including substantial accounts by Louis Napoleon's contemporaries, to provide an interesting portrait of both the man and his times. Although Baguley does not view him as an admirable or even a sympathetic figure, Louis Napoleon was certainly an important one, because his two-decade reign encompassed some of the most critical developments in modern European history. This work will be a necessary and valuable addition to a European history collection. --Jay Freeman

Choice Review

Baguley's consideration of Napoleon III and his period reads well; it organizes much new information and provides a very useful vision of the Second Empire. Marshaling his considerable knowledge with grace and humor, the author (French, Univ. of Durham, UK) sorts through the carefully constructed mythology around the emperor and, where possible, contrasts it with the flawed, often hilarious reality, occasionally giving readers a peek into the soul of this consummate politician. Generally, Baguley deals with Napoleon III as an institution--one whose many facets can be explored but who remains forever unknowable. Though the biography of the emperor is at the center of this fascinating book, the ruler serves primarily as a ploy to tell much of the history of the Second Empire. The author's research is sound, and the documentation is thorough without being obtrusive. Dealing with Louis Napoleon as a man, an institution, the central figure of the Second Empire, and as a myth, the book offers a much better sense of Napoleon III and his day. Baguley has the knowledge to tell this complex, important story, and the grace to tell it well. All academic and public collections. A. H. Pasco University of Kansas

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Chronologyp. xv
Prologuep. 1
Chapter 1 Histories I: Coups d'Etatp. 8
Chapter 2 Histories II: Victor Hugo versus louis napoleonp. 31
Chapter 3 Histories III: Oppositionsp. 48
Chapter 4 Histories IV: Uses and Abuses of the Pastp. 69
Chapter 5 Biography I: Family Affairsp. 96
Chapter 6 Biography II: A Man of Many Partsp. 118
Chapter 7 Epic Venturesp. 149
Chapter 8 Utopian Vistasp. 181
Chapter 9 Romancep. 209
Chapter 10 Parody, Caricature, Satirep. 248
Chapter 11 Vaudevillep. 298
Chapter 12 Fictionsp. 329
Chapter 13 Tragedyp. 368
Epiloguep. 391
Bibliographyp. 399
Indexp. 411