France swings hard to the right, as the government passes new repressive laws and the nation celebrates the birth of a Bourbon 'miracle child.' Pushed back on their heels, the French left turns to conspiracy.
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In the second part (after Episode 12) of my interview with historian Philip Mansel, we discuss the relationship between France and Britain after the two countries finished killing each other in the Napoleonic Wars.
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The Restoration struggles to find solid footing, amid dynastic maneuvering, a tug of war between right and left, covert intrigues, economic and foreign pressures — all culminating in a single, shocking act of political violence.
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A look behind the scenes of The Siècle, including how I research, record and edit episodes, and a closer look at a few of the sources I use to research the podcast. Brought to you by the show's supporters on Patreon.
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An introduction to Restoration France's illustrious — and not-so-illustrious — royal family circa 1816, including a little too much genealogy and a surprising amount of absurdly petty snubs.
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An interview with Philip Mansel, author of several books about 19th Century France, including a biography of Louis XVIII. We discuss the life and personality of France's restored Bourbon king.
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No sooner is France beginning to recover from the tumult of 1815 than a new disaster strikes: a year of bad weather with catastrophic effects for the country's agriculture and very social fabric.
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A look at the lives of Restoration France's silent majority: the millions of peasants scraping a living out of tiny plots of farmland, at the mercy of the elements and everything else.
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An excerpt from the memoirs of the great French writer and statesman Chateaubriand, describing his experiences in the first few years of the Bourbon Restoration.
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Meet the "legitimists," the group of right-wing ultra-royalists who would have a profound influence on 19th Century French politics. Champions of natural order and Catholicism, liberty and inequality, they had a sophisticated philosophy rooted in opposing the evils of the Enlightenment and Revolution.
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The Bourbon Restoration holds elections for the parliament set up by the Charter of 1814 — and the result surprises just about everyone, and sets up a most unlikely political showdown.
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Despite the return of the old monarchy, France in the Bourbon Restoration was a constitutional monarchy. Here we take a look at that constitution, the fascinating Charter of 1814.
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An interview with Prof. Christine Haynes about her new book, Our Friends the Enemies: The Occupation of France After Napoleon, and what her research shows about this chaotic and momentous period following Waterloo.
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France is occupied by more than 1 million foreign soldiers, mobs seek blood and vengeance, and Louis struggles to reestablish his reign.
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An introduction to Paris during the Bourbon Restoration, a city of intense contradictions, of supreme wealth and extreme poverty living side-by-side, of palaces, restaurants, farms and apartments.
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Retelling Napoleon's famous Hundred Days, but in the format of Simpsons GIFs.
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What kind of kingdom had Louis XVIII managed to win after Waterloo, anyway? We take a tour of France in 1815, from its mountains and rivers to its hardscrabble peasants, wine-trading merchants and imperious nobles. With lots of maps!
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Napoleon returns from Elba. Louis XVIII flees to Belgium. And the future of a sharply divided France is decided by force of arms on the field of Waterloo.
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The Siècle begins in the year 1814. Napoléon has abdicated, and the Bourbons are back in charge of France. Here's how they screw it up, the first scene in our century-long saga of a country at war with itself.
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What exactly is The Siècle? An introduction to the project.