By Alistair Horne
In 1870, Paris used to be the heart of Europe, the font of tradition, type, and invention. Ten months later Paris have been damaged by means of a protracted Prussian siege, its ravenous electorate diminished to consuming canine, cats, and rats, and France have been pressured to just accept the humiliating give up phrases dictated by way of the Iron Chancellor Bismarck. To many, the autumn of Paris appeared to be the autumn of civilization itself. Alistair Horne's heritage of the Siege and its aftermath is a travel de strength of army and social background, rendered with the sweep and colour of an excellent novel.
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Extra info for The Fall of Paris: The Siege and the Commune 1870-71
The switch-overs of 1814 and 1815 had been effected painlessly, thanks to the good sense of the Provisional Government in insisting on the rapid deployment within the city of the Allied troops. Paris had remained quiet. Louis XVIII had even set up his Court within a city in which his brother had been murdered: both a measure of his own confidence, reinforced, it should be added, by the presence of a substantial Royal Guard, and a striking example of his desire to reign as le Roi de la Concorde and the King of Forgiveness.
Cole, for the papers of her great-uncle, Benjamin Wilson; Mr. Keith Brown, for the letters of his grandfather, William Brown; and, among my French correspondents, particularly to M. G. Antoine Girot, for providing access to the papers of his great-granduncle, Louis Péguret. In addition, I must express my thanks individually to the following, here and in the United States, for various documents kindly loaned, or assistance given: Mr. R. C. Buss, Mr. E. G. Pierce, Miss Helene B. Lawrance, Miss Rosemary Meynell, Mr.
In this new edition of The Fall of Paris, the author has incorporated much of the work published since the book first came out in 1965, including the large number of books that were published in 1971 for the Centenary of the Commune. His book offers much the most comprehensive account of the War itself, the long Siege, the near-famine, the almost accidental proclamation of the Commune, in an atmosphere of holiday rejoicings and light-heartedness, and the terrible course of events that ensued.
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