“Lieux et expressions du pouvoir” Coll. No 2 - “Le ministère du faste : la Maison de l’empereur Napoléon III

Le ministère du faste : la Maison de l’empereur Napoléon III by Xavier Mauduit, joint publication Centre de recherche du château de Versailles / Éditions Fayard (“Lieux et expressions du pouvoir” Collection), September 2016, 456 p., 31 black & white illustrations, 18 colour plates, 15.3 x 23.5 cm, €23 (ISBN: 9782213701530).


Laundresses, ladies in waiting, footmen, aides-de-camp – some of the thousands of people who worked in the service of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie between 1852 and 1870. Aged from 10 to 80, these men and women of the Emperor’s Household devoted all their energies to the splendour of the regime. And thus the Fête Impériale was born. Chamberlains could be seen spinning around amongst the crinolines of the ladies of the palace, gazed at in wonder by many, mockingly by some, and critically by a few others.

Rivalries, petty theft, career strategies, gratification, dress code - Xavier Mauduit offers us a rich and lively social tableau of this Imperial Household, complete with images. In a new investigation into the heart of the palaces of the man who was the first President of the French Republic and the last sovereign to reign in France, he traces the way in which the politics of image, still with us today, were established under the Republic

Xavier Mauduit, agrégé and a doctor in history, is a regular broadcaster on France Inter and Arte. He has published L’Homme qui voulait tout. Napoléon, le faste et la propagande (Autrement, 2015), and in 2013 he won the Mérimée Prize with his doctoral thesis, which in turn led to this book.

To order the book

Éditions Fayard

Website produced with the support of:
Château de Versailles
Conseil général des Yvelines