Citizen Bonaparte: Napoleon, Revolution and Empire with Nigel Perrin - Context Travel

Citizen Bonaparte: Napoleon, Revolution and Empire with Nigel Perrin


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Napoleon Bonaparte was a product of the French Revolution but created an Empire that brought about enormous political, social, and cultural transformation. Was he the protector and heir of the Revolution? Or its gravedigger?

Napoleon Bonaparte was a child of the Revolution who became the father of an Empire. At the age of just 35, he had ascended from a lowly rank in France’s Revolutionary army to crown himself Emperor in 1804, a remarkable achievement even by his own standards. Although he would be remembered for his brilliance as a military strategist, his reign was also a time of great transformation in almost every sphere of life.

From radical and far-reaching political and social reforms to his influence on art, culture, propaganda, and the press, Napoleon sought to reshape every aspect of French society and dreamed of remaking Paris as the “New Rome”. But did this represent a betrayal of the Republic he had once defended, in the cause of his own quest for glory?

In tracing the story of Napoleon's rise and eventual fall at Waterloo in 1815, this Conversation will seek to assess his relationship to the French Revolution and its values, and his lasting imprint on the architecture and topography of Paris today. Led by an expert on France's revolutionary and resistance history, Nigel Perrin, this interactive seminar will examine the historical figure of Napoleon and his place in France's revolutionary memory.

Nigel has long been fascinated by the history of France during the Occupation, particularly in relation to the work of British secret services, a subject he began studying in 2003. 'Spirit of Resistance', his biography of secret agent Harry Peulevé, was published in 2008. Having completed his MA in Modern History at the University of Kent in Paris in 2015, he has now begun a doctorate on a spatial history of Paris under Occupation.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content)

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.