In November 1917 a former Foreign Secretary, Lord Lansdowne, startled the British public by suggesting negotiable peace terms in the midst of war. By Harold Kurtz.
Napoleon returned to Paris in 1814 pledged to the concept of a liberal Empire. From the paradoxical experience of the Hundred Days, writes Harold Kurtz, sprang both the legend and reality of Bonapartism.
Harold Kurtz describes how for nearly ten years, in two spells of office, the Republican Fouché was the virtual head of the internal government of France under the increasing Traditionalism of Napoleon’s rule.
Former terrorist, responsible for some of the bloodiest excesses of the Revolution, Joseph Fouché, thanks to his intellect, his ruthlessness, his political flair and his unequalled “knowledge of men and circumstances,” lived on to play an important role under both Napoleon I and Louis XVIII. By Harold Kurtz.
Harold Kurtz writes that the torments of a false conscience formed a secret experience that was with Talleyrand all his life.
What he had always wanted to be, Talleyrand wrote in later life, was “the man of France”—not the representative of a party, a political system or a sovereign master. Does this ambition, asks Harold Kurtz, explain his various changes of allegiance, including his “betrayal” of Napoleon, for which many French historians cannot forgive him?
Napoleon’s attempt to form a second and more liberal empire was, like Waterloo, a close-run thing and “came nearer to success than is usually allowed.”
Harold Kurtz introduces one of the French Republic's most successful commanders, who kept his independence in relation to Napoleon and was adopted King of Sweden.
As King of Sweden, writes Harold Kurtz, the former Gascon sergeant never lost his popularity with the Army, middle classes and peasants of his adopted country.
By victory in the war of 1870, writes Harold Kurtz, Bismarck secured German unity at the expense of France.