Monday, September 30, 2013

La chute de Napoleon Trois

Such a sad story, the hope and frenzy and anticipated delight in Paris in July of 1870!  They actually thought French troops would be in Berlin by the Fall, as in the time of Napoleon Bonaparte.  Somehow they avoided looking the facts in the face.  These oh-so-rational Frenchmen could not read the signs of failure before Sedan.  And the storm of hatred that burst on Paris after Sedan and blew out the Empire was proportional to the delusion.  The other part of the story, that Napoleon's capture allowed France to fight on, leading to the Commune, is just as tragic but not so well known.  It ties ogether the narrative in a satisfying way, though.

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