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.