From 1853 to 1870 Eugenie de Montijo was the word’s most powerful woman. Empress of the French, she shared the Second Empire with her husband, Napoleon III, so impressing the Prussian Chancellor Bismarck that he called her ‘the only man in Paris’. In the first biography of her for many years, Desmond Seward recreates the nerve-racking politics and glittering social world of her empire, and gives an often startling reassessment of an extraordinary life that began in a tent at Granada during an earthquake.
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