There is no kind of dishonesty into which otherwise good people more easily and frequently fall than that of defrauding the government. — Benjamin Franklin

Story of France - Mary Macgregor

This comprehensive history of France covers Gaul from the Roman conquest to the Franco-Prussian War in the late 19th century. The stories of French heroes such as Vercingetorix, Clovis, Roland, Charlemagne, Rollo the Viking, St. Louis, Bertrand du Guesclin, Joan of Arc, Charles the Bold, Bayard, Henry Navarre, Louis XIV, and Napoleon Bonaparte are told with great interest.

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Chevalier Bayard and Francis I

[Title Page] from The Story of France by Mary Macgregor [Dedication] from The Story of France by Mary Macgregor


DEAR CHRISTOPHER,—You know the history of your own sea-girt land and you love it well.

Brave men, courageous women have been born and bred in your island home, and some of these have come to be your heroes, more stalwart and true, you dream, than the great men and women of other lands.

Yet listen and I will tell you the story of another country which is as full of interest as your own.

In this other country there are heroes too, different it well may be to those you call your own, yet brave and true as they. For the great Emperor Charlemagne may stand, I ween, by the side of good King Arthur, unashamed, and the gallant soldier Du Guesclin, shoulder to shoulder with the staunch patriot Robert the Bruce. Nor in all the annals of our land will you find a simpler, nobler maid than she who was called Joan Darc. The maid, indeed, you have but to know to love and reverence her well.

It is a long story which I am going to tell. Yet boys and girls, I know, usually wish to begin at the very beginning of a tale. And so I think will you, although this beginning stretches back to moorlands and marshlands, where fierce warriors and terrible beasts roamed, long years before the birth of Christ.

Perhaps after you have read The Story of France, of all her people suffered, of all her heroes endured, you will understand why it is that Frenchmen love their land, and when they have to leave her for a time, steal back to her as soon as they may, as to a mother who has borne pain for their sake, and whom they love and reverence.

"Where is the country of which I am going to tell?"

"It lies across the English Channel."

"Across the English Channnel?" you echo slowly, thinking perhaps that as the sea rolls between, you are not likely to see this other country for many a long year.

It is true that the sea, and often a rough sea too, rolls between England and France, yet the two countries are not far apart, for if you go to Dover and step on board a steamer sailing to Calais, you will be on French soil in two hours.

And the thought that perhaps one day you will see this country, which is separated from you only by the English Channel, may make you wish to turn the page and begin at once to read The Story of France.—Yours affectionately,


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Front Matter

The Druids
The Patriot of Vercingetorix
King Attila
The First King of France
The Three Little Princes
The Sluggard Kings
The Death of St. Boniface
Roland Winds His Horn
Louis the Good-Natured
The Vikings
The Vikings Besiege Paris
Rollo's Pride
King Robert and the Pope
The Truce of God
Peter the Hermit
The Oriflamme
The Second Crusade
Arthur, Prince of Normandy
The Battle of Bouvines
The Vow of St. Louis
St. Louis Is Taken Prisoner
The Sicilian Vespers
The Battle of the Spurs
Pope Boniface Taken Prisoner
The Salic Law
The Battle of Sluys
The Battle of Crecy
The Siege of Calais
The Battle of Poitiers
The Rebellion of Jacques
Sir Bertrand du Guesclin
The Battle of Roosebek
The Mad King
The Two Lily Princes
The Battle of Agincourt
The Baby-King of France
The Siege of Orleans
Joan Sees the Dauphin
Joan Relieves Orleans
The Dauphin Led to Rheims
The Death of the Maid
League of the Common Weal
Louis XI and Charles the Bold
Death of Charles the Bold
Madame la Grande
Bayard Is Taken Prisoner
Bayard Holds the Bridge Alone
Field of the Cloth of Gold
Death of Bayard
The Reformers
The "Gabelle" or Salt Tax
The Siege on St. Quentin
Prince of Conde Prisoner
The Prince of Conde Killed
Admiral Coligny to Paris
St. Bartholomew's Day
Henry IV Escapes from Paris
The King of Paris
The Prince of Bearn
Ravaillac Stabs the King
The Italian Favourite
The Siege of La Rochelle
The Day of Dupes
The Wars of the Fronde
The Diligent King
Louis XIV and the Huguenots
The Bread of the Peasants
The Taking of Quebec
Marie Antoinette
The Taking of the Bastille
The Fishwives at Versailles
The Flight of the Royal Family
Louis XVI Is Executed
Marie Antoinette Is Executed
Napoleon Bonaparte
The Bridge of Lodi
The Battle of the Pyramids
The Great St. Bernard Pass
"The Sun of Austerlitz"
The Berlin Decree
The Retreat from Moscow
Napoleon is Banished to Elba
The Batttle of Waterloo
The Revolution of July
The Brave Archbishop
The Siege of Sebastopol
"The Man of Sedan"