The Fall of the Third Napoleon
The year 1970 marks the centenary of one of the great turning-
Under its creator, the romantic, inscrutable Napoleon III (‘a sphinx without a riddle', said Bismarck), and his beautiful Empress, Eugenie, the Empire had known 'eighteen years of luxury, pleasure, recklessness and gaiety, of gallantry and incomparable elegance'. In the spring of 1870 a massive vote of confidence in the so-
Eugenie, who had revelled in her dramatic role as Regent, could hardly bring herself to accept that total disaster had overtaken France. But, after one terrible outburst against the Emperor, she rallied with a courage that survived her escape from Paris, the proclamation of a Republic, the twilight years of exile in England, and the death of the Emperor.
The Prince Imperial was never to forget the shame of Sedan; anxious to prove himself worthy of his destiny, he met his death fighting with the British army in the Zulu War when he was twenty-
The Fall of the Third Napoleon gives both a splendidly clear-
`It is all very beautiful—for the moment,' said Alfred de Musset at a ball at the Tuileries during the Second Empire, but I would not give two sous for the last act!' This book is the story of that last act—a gaslit tragedy, both brilliant and sombre.
"A narrative which reads as easily as an historical novel, but is faithful to facts."
"The story is worked out like a film scenario, with cameras switching from court to street, from street to battlefield in a dramatic series. Mr. Aronson knows how to appeal to our visual imagination."
"One can only greet with pleasure a book on a historically most fertile theme that may be called a popular work of considerable appeal and relevance."
"Mr. Aronson's style is clear and effective and not unduly overcoloured; while the portraits he draws of his unlucky protagonists are both sensible and sympathetic."
"We shall have a lot of 1870 this year but I shall be surprised if anything is written which is much better than this."
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