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History talk about Napoleon III

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Patricia Dalby.

Date: Saturday 11th February 2017 Time: From 2pm Venue: Alliance Française Cambridge, 60 Hills Rd, CB2 1LA Price: Free

No booking required

Napoléon III has often been ridiculed, especially under the III rd Republic which was established after his downfall. But over the last decades, historians have reassessed his time in power. Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables did contribute to this negative image by calling him Napoléon Le Petit.

One of Napoléon III ’s mistakes might have been that he was ahead of his time. Indeed, unlike many of his French counterparts, he had spent many years abroad. But he was also often indecisive and was not always firm enough with his entourage, especially his troublesome Bonaparte family. His life reads like a novel of adventure: exiled at the age of ten, conspirator, adventurer, prisoner, fugitive, but also the first president France ever had before becoming emperor at the age of forty-four, until finally dying in exile.

Under his reign, France underwent tremendous industrial, social, economic, cultural and societal transformation. Véronique Fournier, teacher at the Alliance Française, will look at the personal life of Napoléon III but will also analyse his policies and the changes that the country experienced at the dawn of the modern era.

This talk is part of the History talk about Napoleon III series.

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