France 1814-1914

By Robert Tombs
July 1996
Pearson Education
ISBN: 0582493145
552 pages
$67.50 Paper original

Here is an incomparably rich portrait of France in the years when the disparate elements that made up the fragmented kingdom of the ancient regime were forged into the modern nation. The survey begins with an exploration of national obsessions and attitudes.

It considers the tendency to revolution and war, the preoccupation with the idea of a New Order and the deep strain of national paranoia that was to be intensified by the dramatic debacle of the Franco-Prussian War.

Robert Tombs then investigates the structures of power and in Part Three he turns his attention to social identities, from the individual and family to the nation at large. When every aspect of the period has been put under the microscope, Robert Tombs draws them all into the broad political narrative that brings the book to its rousing conclusion. Bursting with life as well as learning, this is, quite simply, a tour de force.

Part I. Obsessions.
Part II. Power.
Part III. Identities.
Part IV. The Era of Revolutions 1814-71.
Part V. The Government that divides us least.
Further reading.

* comprehensive single volume history of France from Napoleon to the First World War
* written with great vigor and panache
* close examination of social identities from the individual and the family to the nation at large
* launches a major new six-volume "Longman History of France" (General Editor: Professor J.H.Shennan) in the great tradition of our very successful Histories of Russia, Italy etc

'…those who know the subject will enjoy the unexpected points of view, those who do not know it will learn a good deal [and]...those who appreciate clarity, good sense and a good humored inclination to face facts will enjoy the book.'
Times Literary supplement

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