An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french


Magazine and News is a place where, every day, we bring you not only what’s going on in the Napoleonic world and interviews with those leading Napoleonic history today, but we also offer you Napoleonic pastimes, entertainments, and even recipes. Enjoy!

Latest updates :

Bon appetit! : Turkey in the form of a turtle
Musique et parole : An introduction to First Empire music
Interview : Alexander Mikaberidze on Russian Voices of the Napoleonic Wars
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Each month we present an important recent book, and every week we report on recent publications.
You can also find the books published in previous years by using the scrollbar menu at the bottom of the page. To add one or more books to your «My » account, click on the title(s) and then select «Add to my account».

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WHYTE Peter, Théophile Gautier: Conteur Fantastique et Merveilleux

Description: Between 1831 and 1866, Théophile Gautier published two dozen tales which can be designated contes fantastiques or contes merveilleux. These works are examined in chronological sequence, in French, in order to follow the development of Gautier as a writer of fantastic stories. The analysis concentrates in particular on problems of genesis and intertextuality, and highlights the thematic continuity of this aspect of Gautier's work.

Place and publisher: Manchester: Manchester University Press

Date of publication: 2012

Number of pages: 178

This week’s book(s):

Description: From the publishers:
In the second half of the nineteenth century, state and municipal governments oversaw the explosive growth of public parks, squares, and gardens throughout the city of Paris. In Planning the Greenspaces of Nineteenth-Century Paris, Richard S. Hopkins skillfully weaves together social and cultural history to argue that the expansion of these greenspaces served as more than simple urban embellishment. Rather, they provided an essential component of the Second Empire's efforts to transform and revitalize France's capital city, and their development continued well into the Third Republic.
Hopkins brings a new dimension to the study of nineteenth-century Parisian urbanism by considering the parks and squares of Paris from multiple perspectives: the reformers who advocated for them, the planners who constructed them, the workers who maintained them, and the neighborhood residents who used them. As public areas over which private citizens felt a high degree of ownership, these spaces offered a unique opportunity for collaboration between city officials and residents. Hopkins examines the national and municipal goals for the greenspaces, their intended contributions to public health, and the roles of park service employees and neighborhood groups in their ongoing centrality to Parisian life.
Hopkins's study moves deftly from the aspirations of the political authorities to the ways in which new public spaces contributed to community-building and neighborhood identity. Drawing on extensive archival research, he depicts a greenspace design and development process that illustrates the dynamic relationship between citizens and city.

Place and publisher: Louisiana State University Press

Date of publication: 2015

Number of pages: 240

Description: At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Paris was known for isolated monuments but had not yet put its brand on urban space. Like other European cities, it was still emerging from its medieval past. But in a mere century Paris would be transformed into the modern and mythic city we know today.
Though most people associate the signature characteristics of Paris with the public works of the nineteenth century, Joan DeJean demonstrates that the Parisian model for urban space was in fact invented two centuries earlier, when the first complete design for the French capital was drawn up and implemented. As a result, Paris saw many changes. It became the first city to tear down its fortifications, inviting people in rather than keeping them out. Parisian urban planning showcased new kinds of streets, including the original boulevard, as well as public parks and the earliest sidewalks and bridges without houses. Venues opened for urban entertainment of all kinds, from opera and ballet to a pastime invented in Paris, recreational shopping. Parisians enjoyed the earliest public transportation and street lighting, and Paris became Europe's first great walking city.
A century of planned development made Paris both beautiful and exciting. It gave people reasons to be out in public as never before and as nowhere else. And it gave Paris its modern identity as a place that people dreamed of seeing. By 1700, Paris had become the capital that would revolutionize our conception of the city and of urban life.


Place and publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Date of publication: 2014

Number of pages: 320

Description: Paris: Les Boulevards (Facsimile) texts (in English) by Pamela Golbin, illustrations by Charles Franck
From the publishers:
Pulled from the shelf of a rare-book store by collector Neale M. Albert, Paris: Les Boulevards is a true gem that was forgotten for well over a century but will now enchant readers once again in this charming facsimile edition. Paris's romantic architecture and vibrant street culture make it one of the most enjoyable cities in the world to stroll and people watch in. This charming little illustrated volume by Charles Franck captures just that through delicately rendered Victorian-era illustrations of panoramic cityscapes of the most gorgeous Parisian boulevards. Complete with horse buggies in the streets, women in society hats, and men in coattails, Paris: Les Boulevards highlights a nostalgic era in both fashion and architecture. To further add to the charm, this volume honors its original unique binding with eleven gatefolds: each page folds out to six panels displaying the whole of the famous promenades at once. With pages including boulevard des Italiens, avenue de l'Opéra, and boulevard Montmartre, Parisians and tourists alike will savor Franck's beautiful and meticulous re-creations of the city's most important streets and their buildings. Added to the original book are thoughtful texts on each panel and an introduction by author and curator, Pamela Golbin. Each panoramic image is brought into historical context by Golbin with short anecdotes and musings on famous addresses and landmarks that may or may not still exist. The original book can only be found in one other library in the world, so little is known about the original publication date or the author, adding further captivation to this volume. Paris remains one of the most romantic and dreamy cities in the world, and for this Paris: Les Boulevards will be perfect for those of all ages smitten with the city's charms.

About the Author and illustrator:
Pamela Golbin is the Chief curator of Fashion and Textiles at the Museé des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the author of Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs, Madeleine Vionnet and Valentino. Charles Franck is an illustrator who presumably lived in France during the late 19th century.

Place and publisher:

Date of publication: 2015

Number of pages: 8 (fold-out)

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