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Slippery Prince

Graham Robb: Napoleon III

19 June 2003
Napoleon III and His Regime: An Extravaganza 
by David Baguley.
Louisiana State, 392 pp., £38.50, December 2000, 0 8071 2624 1
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The French Second Empire: An Anatomy of Political Power 
by Roger Price.
Cambridge, 507 pp., £55, January 2002, 0 521 80830 8
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... seemed to contemplate his ‘destiny’ like the heir to an irksome family business. When he dreamed that he stood on top of the Vendôme Column in place of his uncle’s statue, he was struck, as DavidBaguley points out in Napoleon III and His Regime, not by the glory but by the loneliness. In Ham, he wrote a pamphlet on ‘L’Extinction du paupérisme’, explaining, in effect, how much better ...

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