Best Historical French Biographies in 2022

Historical French Biographies - Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, and Jacques-Olivier Boudon

There are a lot of interesting and well-written historical French biographies to choose from, but which ones are the most informative? If you're interested in learning more about Napoleon, Marie Antoinette, or Jacques-Olivier Boudon, then you've come to the right place! Here are some suggestions for you. You can also check out my reviews of other popular historical French biographies. There are several great books about the lives of these famous people, so don't forget to look for more!


If you're looking for a new way to learn about Napoleon, I highly recommend this new book, Napoleon in Historical French Biographies. It's not the usual Napoleon biography, and it focuses on the 30,000 German troops who fought for Napoleon. The book corrects a common misconception that all of Napoleon's forces were French. In fact, five-fifths of his army was French, equivalent to Paris at the time. And the Napoleonic Wars were a coalition, not an all-out war.

It's fascinating to read about Napoleon's wife, Josephine. Napoleon's letters to his wife reveal his intense passion for her. In these books, Napoleon and Josephine have a relationship that's both interesting and touching. In the end, Napoleon and Josephine become a couple who share a common goal, to bring about a new world order. In historical French biographies, Napoleon's wife is a central character in every book about him.

Napoleon attended three different schools. He briefly attended the military academy in Paris and a boarding school in Autun. He was later elected First Consul of France for life. His coronation in December 1804 ended the 1st Republic and established military despotism. His court was reestablished in the Tuileries. His 10 year reign included conquering Spain, Germany, Austria, and Italy. In the end, he was defeated in a battle at Leipzig in 1814. Despite his victory, Napoleon died a tragically short life.

Marie Antoinette

If you're looking for a good historical French biography, consider Marie Antoinette. The 15th child of Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and Maria Theresa, she had a relatively carefree childhood. Her education was typically devoted to moral principles, with her brothers pursuing more academic studies. Her mother hoped to preserve the fragile alliance between France and Austria after the Seven Years' War. In addition, many of her contemporaries had a matrimonial connection.

Marie Antoinette was linked to several events that took place during the French Revolution. In October 1789, the government placed the royal family under house arrest. In June 1791, she tried to flee to Varennes. However, an attack on the Tuileries forced her family to flee to the Assembly. Eventually, she was imprisoned at Temple Prison. Her husband was executed on 21 January 1793.

After her marriage, Marie Antoinette began spending more time at Petit Trianon, a palace on the grounds of Versailles. Count Axel von Fersen, a Swedish diplomat, was suspected of having an affair with her. In 1778, Marie Antoinette gave birth to a daughter, Marie-Therese-Charlotte. Her mother learned that her daughter and husband had not consummated their marriage.

Jacques-Olivier Boudon

The Jacques-Olivier Boudon Historical Paris Biographies are among the best books in the genre, which focuses on Napoleon, the founder of the Republic, and the rise of the French Empire. This is because Boudon writes in a multilingual, multi-cultural manner, while presenting the events of his life as a multi-dimensional character. This book is filled with numerous illustrations, pictograms, and infographics, which show the French influence throughout the world and in France.

Born in Haute-Marne, east of Paris, Jacques-Olivier spent his childhood in a rural area, surrounded by birds. He worked in a bird park and studied journalism, but eventually decided to start his own animal park dedicated to raptors when he was twenty-four. He has been a professional falconer since 1997 and holds the youngest certificate for falconry presentation in France.

The Jacques-Olivier Boudon Historical Parisian Biographies include a biography of Monseigneur Georges Darboy, who was executed as a hostage by the Paris Commune in 1871. His earlier works, L'Episcopat francais à l'époque concordataire (1802-1905) and Le Prince Immobile (The Archbishop of Paris, 1871-1873), are all excellent case studies. Darboy was an excellent administrator, expanding the clergy while working with the French state. Boudon also examines the challenges posed by the late 1860s, such as the Easter duty.

Thierry Lentz

Thierry Lentz is one of the foremost authorities on Napoleon Bonaparte and his time. A professor at the Institut catholique de Vendee and the director of the Fondation Napoleon, Lentz has written over sixty books on the life and times of the emperor. He recently gave an interview to Arnaud Imatz for the Postil. Lentz's book Napoleon Bonaparte: A Biography is an interesting and informative study on the life and times of this Napoleonic ruler.

Napoleon Bonaparte: A historical French biography by a Franco-German emigrant, Barre claims to be the personal interpreter of Napoleon. After writing some satirical verses against the First Consul, Barre fled France and settled in England. His first work in England was a history of the consulate. Barre's biography of Napoleon was completed seven years after his first known work. His biography is highly critical of Biographical Anecdotes and the sources in which they are based.

Nina Gelbart

Gelbart is a professor of history at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She has written numerous books, including Feminine and Opposition Journalism in Old Regime France: "Le Journal des Dames," which won the Sierra Prize. Gelbart is particularly adept at evoking the atmosphere of the century and the social issues of the time. In her introduction to the book, she describes the grim conditions of childbirth, superstitions, and other conditions. She also describes gender politics of the time. However, it is important to note that Gelbart does not pretend to provide definitive answers. Her goal is to entice readers into the period, rather than to answer the questions they have about the characters. Consequently, there are some questions that remain about du Coudray and other figures.

In The Last Frenchman, Nina Rattner Gelbart reconstructs the life of Angelique Marguerite Le Boursier (better known as Madame du Coudray), a nineteenth-century midwife. She provides a social history of midwifery during the Ancien Regime. Her research includes numerous archives across France. This work will provide food for thought for historians. It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the history of the French Revolution.

Sarah Turnbull

Before Eat, Pray, Love, Sarah Turnbull wrote Almost French. The book follows Sarah Turnbull as she travels across Europe and is ready to return home, but then she meets charming Frenchman Frederic in Bucharest. She agrees to visit him in Paris for a week, but soon finds herself in over her head. Turnbull's story is a fascinating one, and will definitely have you re-reading Eat, Pray, Love.

Originally from Australia, Sarah Turnbull decided to spend a year in Paris after she met her French husband, Frederic, in Bucharest. Initially apprehensive, she takes a year off to travel Europe and meet her husband. She fell in love with the city and learned the language. Sarah Turnbull's historical French biographies tell a fascinating story of love and the maddening city.

In her memoir, Almost French, Turnbull chronicles the difficulties she faced while living in Paris. Her marriage, Frederic, was a great success, but she and her husband were reluctant to leave the city. Although they love Paris, they both miss the new life, and Sarah longed to start a family. Eventually, she moved to Tahiti to live with him. Turnbull tries to find happiness in their new life.


Several biographies of Rousseau have been published, but only one is readable and accessible to the general reader. Leo Damrosch's one-volume biography is an excellent introduction to the man's work. Other Rousseau biographies are more scholarly and dry. Grace Roosevelt's Reading Rousseau in the Nuclear Age is also a good biography. Here are some of the main features of each.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born an orphan and supported himself by working as a servant, secretary, and tutor. While he was a teen, Rousseau traveled France and Italy, idolizing Madame de Warens. He also briefly attended a seminary, but eventually settled down. Rousseau's music would become a part of French popular culture. However, the scholarly world did not accept his ideas.

In addition to his literary work, Rousseau's bicentenary plaque was placed in Geneva in 1912. The plaque shows Rousseau's father gesturing towards a window, a gesture from a footnote in Letter to d'Alembert. His writings had an impact in Europe and the world, and writers such as Goethe, Schiller, and Herder all acknowledged that Rousseau's works had inspired and influenced them. This is because of the elegance of his writings.

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