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The collapse of France in 1870 had an overwhelming impact - on Paris, on France and on the open-mouthed world. People everywhere saw Paris as the center of Europe and the hub of culture, fashion and invention. Suddenly France, not least to the disbelief of her own citizens, was in the vise of Prussian armies and forced to surrender on humiliating terms. Politics and nature abhorring a vacuum, Paris was convulsed by the savagery of the Commune. In this brilliant study of the Siege and its aftermath, Horne evokes the high drama of those ten fantastic months and the spiritual and physical agony which Paris and the Parisians suffered. Woven into his masterly text are many first-hand accounts left by official observers, diarists and correspondents.
From Alistair Hornes grand trilogy on French historytwo magisterial works now back in print
In 1870, Paris was the center of Europe, the font of culture, fashion, and invention. Ten months later Paris had been broken by a long Prussian siege, its starving citizens reduced to eating dogs, cats, and rats, and France had been forced to accept the humiliating surrender terms dictated by the Iron Chancellor Bismarck. To many, the fall of Paris seemed to be the fall of civilization itself. Alistair Hornes history of the Siege and its aftermath is a tour de force of military and social history, rendered with the sweep and color of a great novel.
Sir Alistair Horne, one of Britains greatest historians and commander of the British Empire, is the author of several works on French history, including Seven Ages of Paris and A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 19541962.
One of Britain’s greatest historians, Sir Alistair Horne, CBE, is the author of several famous books on French history as well as a two-volume life of Harold Macmillan.
"This classic work . . . is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the civil war that still stirs the soul of France."
-Evening Standard, London
This classic work . . . is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the civil war that still stirs the soul of France.
Evening Standard, London