Artists, martyrs, kings, revolutionaries: France's dramatic history fascinates the world and attracts millions each year to visit its chateaux and cathedrals, boulevards and vineyards. Jeremy Black succinctly narrates how France's past has created its distinct character and powerful artistic, intellectual and political influence across the globe.
France has an incomparable cultural legacy: from the cave paintings of Lascaux to the origins of Gothic architecture, from Monet and Degas to the Lumiere brothers, and from the cataclysm of the 1789 Revolution through the countercultural student protests of 1968 to the Gilets Jaunes today. Ancient identities allied to a social, political and military history that has witnessed revolution, conflict and occupation mean that France today occupies a unique position in the modern world. Jeremy Black presents a vivid take on history that emphasizes the unexpected nature of events and unpredictable outcomes on a fragmented and crisis-prone France. Country and destination, nation and idea, France has a rich and complex history. This is a short, easy-to-digest history of a vast subject, and a helpful guide to understanding France today.
Thames & Hudson
Country of Publication:
01 April 2021
Preface * Introduction * 1. Prehistoric Legacies * 2. Roman France * 3. The Early Middle Ages * 4. Medieval France * 5. Renaissance France, 1494-1598 * 6. From Henry iv to Louis xiv, 1598-1715 * 7. The Ancien Regime, 1715-89 * 8. The Revolution, 1789-99 * 9. From Napoleon i to Napoleon iii, 1799-1870 * 10. The Third Republic, 1870-1939 * 11. The Second World War, 1939-45 * 12. France Reborn, 1945-69 * 13. Modern France, 1969-2000 * 14. France Today, 2001- * 15. Conclusions
Jeremy Black is one of the UK's most respected and prolific historians. He is Professor of History at Exeter University and a renowned expert on the history of war. His recent books include A Brief History of Italy and A Brief History of Spain.
Reviews for France: A Short History
'A superb account of 2,000 years of France and the French in the making by a master of his craft. Bold insights and evocative detail are combined in a narrative that is a pleasure to read. A tour de force' - Robert Gildea, Professor of Modern History, University of Oxford 'Readers of his many previous works will not be disappointed by this addition to the Jeremy Black canon. Encyclopaedic knowledge and a lifelong enthusiasm for visiting French historical sites underpin his new concise survey of French history from prehistoric times right down to Emmanuel Macron' - William Doyle, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Bristol 'An excellent and thought-provoking introduction to the history of France. Concisely and accessibly written, it skilfully interweaves long-term social, cultural and even climatic factors with the more familiar narrative of wars, revolutions and coups d'etat. In particular, and in a highly stimulating way, it shows just how much the shape of today's France, both geographical and political, owes to sheer chance' - Munro Price, Professor of Modern European History, University of Bradford