Poor Philippe Égalité
October 23, 2018 7:21 PM   Subscribe

Looking for book recommendations for French history between Napoleon I and Napoleon III.

I'm pretty familiar with the French Revolution period and Napoleon's era, and I've got some reading already lined up for Napoleon III. But I haven't seen a whole lot for the Bourbon Restoration/July Monarchy period. Any recommendations?
posted by Chrysostom to Law & Government (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know much about it, but I was curious what primary sources might be readily available. The latter half of Lamartine's History of the Restoration of Monarchy in France could be interesting, albeit "rather partial," since he lived through it and later wrote about it just after his own political career ended. Poking around the Internet Archive a little, here are a few memoirs, etc., that also seem to overlap with your timeframe: Émilie Pellapra, Eugénie de Guérin, Count Beugnot, Madame Lafarge, Prosper Mérimée, Madame de Genlis, and Alexandre Dumas (I-II-III-IV-V-VI and My Pets, especially notable for a scene immediately after the end of your timeframe where his servant and I think de facto slave brought from the colonies announces there are no more servants and tries to find employment elsewhere--an interesting illustration of the reality behind slavery technically having only been legal in the colonies to that point?).
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:29 PM on October 23, 2018

Balzac's La Comédie humaine might be useful as fictional social history if you can get through it all. I'll admit that I haven't read any of it, though.
posted by clawsoon at 5:57 AM on October 24, 2018

Looking at the further reading section of the July Monarchy Wikipedia page, I wonder if David Pinkney's books would be worth looking at:

The French Revolution of 1830
Decisive Years in France, 1840-1847
posted by clawsoon at 6:05 AM on October 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

I see that you've found your book!

Any others you've found, for those of us who might be interested in looking into this sometime in the future?
posted by clawsoon at 5:32 AM on December 19, 2018

Response by poster: That's it so far. That book (The Perilous Crown: France Between Revolutions - Munro Price, 2009) was pretty good. It's focused on Louis-Philippe (and his sister Adélaïde), but since they were involved in everything from the Revolution through the fall of the monarchy in 1848, it's also a good general history.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:42 PM on December 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Looks like there's a new podcast devoted to just this period, The Siècle. Haven't listed to it yet.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:07 PM on January 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Here's another: Philip Mansel's Louis XVIII. It's okay; Mansel explicitly is trying to restore Louis's reputation, which is fine, but he goes a little far in places. He also *really* dislikes Orléans (the future Louis-Philippe).
posted by Chrysostom at 10:57 AM on March 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

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