This comprehensive history of France from the years leading up to the French Revolution to the years immediately before World War I give an excellent overview of one of the most dramatic and turbulent centuries in European history. Beginning with the corrupt and extravagant reign of Louis XV, much of the book focuses on the turbulent period from the events leading up to the French Revolution to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. The final third of the book covers the Restoration, the second Empire under Napoleon III, and the Third Republic formed after the devastating Franco-Prussian war.
The aim of this volume is to give a complete graphic account of the main features of the history of France since 1715 A.D., with as much additional illuminating detail as limited space permits. Besides outlines of the principal events, this narrative includes many biographical sketches, together with the anecdotes and sayings to which allusions are often made in literature, politics, and art. It also gives such data in regard to places, public buildings, and works of art as the well informed like to have at their fingers' ends. As the work is intended mainly for youthful readers, due regard has been paid to moral teachings and to the judicious omission of harmful incidents.
The book is arranged for elementary history classes, and for supplementary reading as well. Some acquaintance with the history of France is most helpful in understanding and studying literature, and English, American, Medieval, and General history. Besides, in schools where French is taught, it can serve as a work of reference for the pupils, who continually stumble across names and allusions which require elucidation. The author, therefore, hopes many schools will find this narrative useful in one or the other conpection, and that it will appeal equally to teachers and pupils and perhaps to other readers also.
Although complete in itself, and hence quite independent, it is nevertheless a sequel to The Story of Old France, for it takes up the thread of the narrative at the point where it was dropped in that book, and carries it on unbroken to the present date.
Many names occur and recur in the text because familiarity with their appearance is desirable from an educational point of view. Where the pronunciation seems difficult, it has been carefully indicated the first time the name appears, and the indication is repeated in the index. Before the day's reading, a few minutes may profitably be given to the pronunciation of such names by the teacher, with their repetition by the pupils. This process will facilitate the reading and hence increase the interest. Names in parenthesis need not be read aloud, sight acquaintance with them being all that is expected of young readers, so the pronunciation of those names is given in the index only.