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.
Read or listen to this episode (9036 words)
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.
Read or listen to this episode (5368 words)
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.
Read or listen to this episode (3755 words)
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.
Read or listen to this episode (4834 words)
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.
Read or listen to this episode (4459 words)
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.
Read or listen to this episode (4479 words)
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.
Read or listen to this episode (5976 words)
France is occupied by more than 1 million foreign soldiers, mobs seek blood and vengeance, and Louis struggles to reestablish his reign.
Read or listen to this episode (6326 words)
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.
Read or listen to this episode (4196 words)
Retelling Napoleon's famous Hundred Days, but in the format of Simpsons GIFs.
Read or listen to this episode (1104 words)
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!
Read or listen to this episode (5561 words)
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.
Read or listen to this episode (4243 words)
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.
Read or listen to this episode (3895 words)
What exactly is The Siècle? An introduction to the project.