Napoleon’s Nephew, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte III: An Unfair Shake in History

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte III Rarely in history has a country so blindly, maliciously and relentlessly turned against the memory of one of its national leaders in blatant defiance of the historical facts. By Dr. Alan Strauss-Schom / 07.08.2018 Historian Rarely in history has a country so blindly, maliciously and relentlessly turned against the memory of[…]

The French Revolution of 1830 as a European Media Event

Scenes of July 1830, a painting by Léon Cogniet alluding to the July revolution of 1830 / Wikimedia Commons Similar to the earlier revolution in 1789 and the subsequent one in 1848, the revolutionary upheaval in Paris in July 1830 served as a signal for further revolutionary movements in other countries. By Dr. Julia A. Schmidt-Funke / 08.16.2017[…]

You Had to Speak French to Get Ahead in Medieval Britain

Medieval teaching scene. gallica.bnf.fr / BnF Back in the Middle Ages, as well as speaking English and Latin, many people living inBritain also spoke French. By Dr. Huw Grange / 03.16.2018 Junior Research Fellow in French Jesus College University of Oxford The study of modern languages in British secondary schools is in steep decline. The number of students taking French and German GCSE[…]

Made in Taiwan? How a Frenchman Fooled 18th-Century London

Detail from depiction of a Formosan funeral, featured in George Psalmanazar’s An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa (1704) — Internet Archive The remarkable story of George Psalmanazar, the mysterious Frenchman who successfully posed as a native of Formosa (now modern Taiwan) and gave birth to a meticulously fabricated culture with bizarre customs, exotic fashions, and its own[…]

European Influence of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars

“We should make sure that the revolution is transmitted!” / CC-BY-NC 2.0 doc(q)man By Dr. Frederick C. Schneid / 01.27.2011 Herman and Louise Smith Professor of History High Point University Abstract The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars represented continuity in European diplomacy from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century, but witnessed considerable change in the way that[…]

Birth of Levée en Masse in 1793 France and Its European Development

Departure of the Conscripts in 1807, by Louis-Léopold Boilly, 1808 / Musée Carnavalet via Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Ambrogio Caiani / 12.03.2010 Senior Lecturer in History University of Kent Introduction When faced, in 1793, with the prospect of defeat, the National Convention issued an appeal for a levée en masse, which, theoretically, placed the entire population at[…]

The Artistic Eye of Marie Antoinette

Queen Marie-Antoinette, about 1789, Pierre-Michel Alix after Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun. Etching and wash manner, printed in blue, red, yellow, and black inks, 9 3/16 x 7 1/16 in. The National Gallery of Art, Widener Collection, 1942.9.2. Image courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington By Philippe Halbert / 06.07.2015 Graduate Student in Art History (American and European[…]

The Peoples, Languages, and History of the Pyrenees Region

Sainte-Cecile Cathedral overlooking the Tarn River, Albi, France. Midi- Pyrénées / Encyclopedia Britannica  By Dr. Friedrich Edelmayer / 05.31.2012 Professor of Austrian and Medieval History Universität Wien Abstract The Pyrenees region encompasses areas from the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of France and the Principality of Andorra. It is also linguistically heterogeneous. In addition to[…]

Vinum, Vidi, Vici

Etruscan and Massalian amphorae excavated at Lattes, France. Photo: Michael Dietler A look at wine’s integral role in culture and colonialism in ancient France. By Dr. Michael Dietler / 06.29.2015 Professor of Anthropology University of Chicago I couldn’t resist the pun. In 47 B.C. dictator Julius Caesar sent a famous communiqué to Rome summing up his latest achievement:[…]

The French Revolution: Lightning and the People’s Will

Detail from La Liberté Triomphante (1792), showing Liberty brandishing a thunderbolt in one hand and a Phrygian cap on a stick in the other / National Library of France Kevin Duong explores how leading French revolutionaries, in need of an image to represent the all important “will of the people”, turned to the thunderbolt — a natural[…]