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!

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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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FRASER Antonia , Perilous Question: the Drama of the Great Reform Bill of 1832

<i> © Weidenfeld and Nicholson </i>

© Weidenfeld and Nicholson

Description: This is a book that features one eventful year, much of it violent. There were riots in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham, and wider themes of Irish and 'negro emancipation' underscore the narrative. The time-span of the book is from Wellington's intractable declaration in November 1830 that 'The beginning of reform is the beginning of revolution', to 7th June 1832, the date of the extremely reluctant royal assent by William IV to the Great Reform Bill, under the double threat of the creation of 60 new peers in the House of Lords and the threat of revolution throughout the country. These events led to a total change in the way Britain was governed, a two-year revolution that Antonia Fraser brings to life.
For two reviews of this book, see Andrew Roberts from one side of the political spectrum - here (external link) -, and John Barrell from the other - here (external link).

Place and publisher: Weidenfeld and Nicholson

Date of publication: 2013

Number of pages: 336

This week’s book(s):

Description: From the publishers:
Marie-Louise's battle against adversity and pursuit of happiness outside conventional morality will appeal to anyone interested in an extraordinary story. It will also appeal to those interested in Napoleon who are prepared to open their minds to the other important facets of his very complex personality. Furthermore, Marie-Louise's tale is an inspiration to the woman of today. Napoleon's Other Wife is also ideally suited as recommended reading for "A" and higher level studies in the French Revolution, Napoleonic period and Italian Risorgimento.
Eighteen-year-old Habsburg Archduchess Marie-Louise leaves Vienna in 1810 to marry Napoleon Bonaparte, now Emperor of France. Among the crowds who welcome her are those who rejoiced as her great aunt Marie-Antoinette's severed head was flaunted seventeen years earlier. Marie-Louise believes her duty is to cement peace between Austria and France, but Klemens Metternich, foreign minister to her father, Emperor Francis, has other ideas.  He has engineered this marriage to change the course of European history. Within a year, Marie-Louise produces the dynastic heir expected of her and long desired by Napoleon. But his ill conceived invasion of Russia changes his fortunes irreversibly. Marie-Louise is forced to choose between her father and her husband when Emperor Francis declares war on Napoleon. She will have to fight for her existence for the rest of her life, not only for herself, but also for her son, to protect him against the Allies' vengeance. Despite the impossible pressures and irreconcilable demands upon her, she refuses to be cowed, strikes out for her own happiness and rides the currents which threaten to undo her.  Her achievements are nothing short of heroic.
This compelling narration of Marie-Louise's story in Napoleon's Other Wife, is unique, addressing the devastating impact of Napoleon's legacy on her private and political existence and revealing a woman of extraordinary resilience and courage.

Place and publisher: Rosa's Press

Date of publication: 2015

Number of pages: 528

Description: From the publishers:
Jeffrey N. Cox reconsiders the history of British Romanticism, seeing the work of Byron, the Shelleys, and Keats responding not only to the 'first generation' Romantics led by Wordsworth, but more directly to the cultural innovations of the Napoleonic War years. Recreating in depth three moments of political crisis and cultural creativity - the Peace of Amiens, the Regency Crisis, and Napoleon's first abdication - Cox shows how 'second generation' Romanticism drew on cultural 'border raids', seeking a global culture at a time of global war. This book explores how the introduction on the London stage of melodrama in 1803 shaped Romantic drama, how Barbauld's prophetic satire Eighteen Hundred and Eleven prepares for the work of the Shelleys, and how Hunt's controversial Story of Rimini showed younger writers how to draw on the Italian cultural archive. Responding to world war, these writers sought to embrace a radically new vision of the world.
- Reconceives the development of British Romanticism that recovers a lost literary epoch
- Discusses how writers, including Byron, Mary and Percy Shelley, and Keats, responded to the Napoleonic Wars
- Shows how Romantic era issues and forms still shape contemporary culture
For an overview of it's contents see this review by Philip Shaw, Professor of Romantic Studies at the University of Leicester, UK.

Place and publisher: New York, Cambridge University Press

Date of publication: 2014

Number of pages: 276

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