Description: The early successes during the Cent-Jours came precisely at the wrong time: society in France had changed profoundly, and the elites had changed with it. Even those who had profited from the Napoleonic adventure sided with the "reactionaries" (that is to say, Royalists).
Some of the "restored" emperor's decisions and appointments smacked of demagoguery (how else to explain a more "liberal" constitution or Napoleon's recall of Carnot, the man behind the victory in Year II?). Clearly, Napoleon was playing a losing hand, and although the country escaped relatively lightly in 1814, she was not so lucky a second time. France would pay dearly for the French emperor's last roll of the dice.
This is the fourth and final volume in the monumental Nouvelle Histoire du Premier Empire series begun in 2002 by Thierry Lentz, Director of the Fondation Napoléon. With new documentation, a fresh take on facts we thought we all knew, and a wide-ranging field of interest (including an intimate understanding of the protagonists and the institutions, an insatiable curiosity for everything social and economic, a familiarity with the intellectuals of the time, the development of ideas and the arts, and consideration for the military aspect), Thierry Lentz offers a grandiose vision (leaving nothing out in the process) of these fifteen exceptional years in French and European history.
Read an extract from volume IV here on Napoleon.org! (in French)
The Nouvelle Histoire series
I Napoléon et la conquête de l'Europe (1804-1810)
II L'effondrement du système napoléonien (1810-1815)
III La France et l'Europe de Napoléon (1804-1814)
IV Les Cent-Jours (1815)
The Nouvelle Histoire series follows Le Grand Consulat, a study of the Consulate period, published by Fayard in 1999. Thierry Lentz was awarded the 1997 Fondation Napoléon history prize for a work on the First Empire.
Place and publisher: Paris: Fayard
Date of publication: 2010
Number of pages: 600