100 books like The Glass Blowers

By Daphne du Maurier,

Here are 100 books that The Glass Blowers fans have personally recommended if you like The Glass Blowers. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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To Kidnap a Pope

By Ambrogio A. Caiani,

Book cover of To Kidnap a Pope: Napoleon and Pius VII

Munro Price Author Of Napoleon: The End of Glory

From the list on the French Revolution and Napoleon.

Who am I?

I’m a historian who has been researching and writing on the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars for thirty-five years now. Since the age of ten I have been fascinated by these years, partly through childhood holidays in France, but also because of their sheer drama. British history in the same period has nothing to compare with the storming of the Bastille or Napoleon’s meteoric career. Specializing in this turbulent era has made me particularly interested in how regimes fall, and whether under different circumstances they could have survived.

Munro's book list on the French Revolution and Napoleon

Why did Munro love this book?

Well over 200,000 books have been written about Napoleon, but this recent work actually manages to say something new by focusing on an aspect of his reign that has been oddly neglected – at least in the English-speaking world – his tense and turbulent relations with the Pope, Pius VII, which ended with the Pope’s kidnapping from Rome by French forces in 1809 and imprisonment in France. Though bullied, browbeaten, and even once physically manhandled by Napoleon, the elderly Pontiff steadfastly refused to make the concessions to the secular power that his captor demanded from him. Ambrogio Caiani not only brings vividly to life an extraordinary clash of personalities, but also a key episode in one of the great conflicts that has shaped the modern world: the rivalry between church and state.

By Ambrogio A. Caiani,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked To Kidnap a Pope as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A groundbreaking account of Napoleon Bonaparte, Pope Pius VII, and the kidnapping that would forever divide church and state

"In gripping, vivid prose, Caiani brings to life the struggle for power that would shape modern Europe. It all makes for a historical read which is both original and enjoyable."-Antonia Fraser, author of Marie Antoinette

"The story of the struggle, fought with cunning, not force, between the forgotten Roman nobleman Barnaba Chiaramonti, who became Pope Pius VII, and the all-too-well-remembered Napoleon."-Jonathan Sumption, The Spectator, "Books of the Year"

In the wake of the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of France,…


Interpreting the French Revolution

By François Furet, Elborg Forster (translator),

Book cover of Interpreting the French Revolution

Munro Price Author Of Napoleon: The End of Glory

From the list on the French Revolution and Napoleon.

Who am I?

I’m a historian who has been researching and writing on the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars for thirty-five years now. Since the age of ten I have been fascinated by these years, partly through childhood holidays in France, but also because of their sheer drama. British history in the same period has nothing to compare with the storming of the Bastille or Napoleon’s meteoric career. Specializing in this turbulent era has made me particularly interested in how regimes fall, and whether under different circumstances they could have survived.

Munro's book list on the French Revolution and Napoleon

Why did Munro love this book?

This is not an easy read, but it is a seminal work by the greatest modern historian of the French Revolution, which made an enormous impression on me when I first read it as a student in the 1980s. It marked a decisive break with what up until then had been the standard view of the Revolution as a class struggle. For Furet, the Revolution’s real importance lay elsewhere, as the first modern experiment with democracy – in his eloquent words, "a beginning and a haunting vision of that beginning."

By François Furet, Elborg Forster (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Interpreting the French Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The French Revolution is an historical event unlike any other. It is more than just a topic of intellectual interest: it has become part of a moral and political heritage. But after two centuries, this central event in French history has usually been thought of in much the same terms as it was by its contemporaries. There have been many accounts of the French Revolution, and though their opinions differ, they have often been commemorative or anniversary interpretations of the original event. The dividing line of revolutionary historiography, in intellectual terms, is therefore not between the right and the left,…


1812

By Adam Zamoyski,

Book cover of 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow

Munro Price Author Of Napoleon: The End of Glory

From the list on the French Revolution and Napoleon.

Who am I?

I’m a historian who has been researching and writing on the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars for thirty-five years now. Since the age of ten I have been fascinated by these years, partly through childhood holidays in France, but also because of their sheer drama. British history in the same period has nothing to compare with the storming of the Bastille or Napoleon’s meteoric career. Specializing in this turbulent era has made me particularly interested in how regimes fall, and whether under different circumstances they could have survived.

Munro's book list on the French Revolution and Napoleon

Why did Munro love this book?

When I first read this book I found it unputdownable. It is a riveting account, based on a huge number of original sources and testimonies, of the watershed defeat of Napoleon’s career: his invasion of Russia, capture of Moscow, and the disastrous winter retreat that destroyed his army of half a million men. Its evocation of the accompanying horrors is often harrowing, but underlines one sobering and always relevant fact: the amount of human suffering the folly of one man can bring about.

By Adam Zamoyski,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked 1812 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adam Zamoyski's bestselling account of Napoleon's invasion of Russia and his catastrophic retreat from Moscow, events that had a profound effect on European history.

In 1812 the most powerful man in the world assembled the largest army in history and marched on Moscow with the intention of consolidating his dominion. But within months, Napoleon's invasion of Russia - history's first example of total war - had turned into an epic military disaster. Over 400,000 French and Allied troops perished and Napoleon was forced to retreat.

Adam Zamoyski's masterful work draws on the harrowing first-hand accounts of soldiers and civilians on…


Pride's Children: Purgatory

By Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt,

Book cover of Pride's Children: Purgatory

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

New book alert!

What is my book about?

Pride’s Children is a captivating, contemporary story about love, regret, ambition, and obsession - with a glitzy backdrop. Closer examination reveals a textured and soul-searching novel that serves as a poignant reminder that we are defined by our choices - and their consequences. The treatment of an enigmatic and life-altering disorder is honest and meaningful. Ehrhardt makes every effort to give readers an unglamorous view of a debilitating health problem that influences every aspect of life.

An intimate character study of three dynamic individuals who travel in the same circle for a short time, but whose stories and personalities couldn’t be more different. Mature and deliberate, the first in a trilogy is a flawless literary gem that takes readers on a lengthy but worthwhile journey.

Pride's Children: Purgatory

By Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt,

What is this book about?

Pride’s Children is a captivating, contemporary story about love, regret, ambition, and obsession - with a glitzy backdrop. Closer examination reveals a textured and soul-searching novel that serves as a poignant reminder that we are defined by our choices - and their consequences. The treatment of an enigmatic and life-altering disorder is honest and meaningful. Ehrhardt makes every effort to give readers an unglamorous view of a debilitating health problem that influences every aspect of life.

An intimate character study of three dynamic individuals who travel in the same circle for a short time, but whose stories and personalities couldn’t be…


The Life of Louis XVI

By John Hardman,

Book cover of The Life of Louis XVI

Munro Price Author Of Napoleon: The End of Glory

From the list on the French Revolution and Napoleon.

Who am I?

I’m a historian who has been researching and writing on the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars for thirty-five years now. Since the age of ten I have been fascinated by these years, partly through childhood holidays in France, but also because of their sheer drama. British history in the same period has nothing to compare with the storming of the Bastille or Napoleon’s meteoric career. Specializing in this turbulent era has made me particularly interested in how regimes fall, and whether under different circumstances they could have survived.

Munro's book list on the French Revolution and Napoleon

Why did Munro love this book?

The great strength of this book is that as well as offering a major reinterpretation of Louis, XVI, it is also a pleasure to read. John Hardman has pioneered the reappraisal of Louis that has been underway over the last twenty years. The unfortunate king has traditionally been portrayed as either reactionary or incompetent (or both). In place of this caricature, Hardman convincingly presents the monarch as a man of high intelligence who was prepared to make many more compromises with the Revolution than historians have allowed. In his view, Louis’ real weakness was not intellectual but psychological: crises of depression that paralysed him at crucial moments after 1789.

By John Hardman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Life of Louis XVI as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A thought-provoking, authoritative biography of one of history's most maligned rulers: France's Louis XVI

"The definitive contribution to our understanding of Louis XVI as a man and a monarch."-P.M. Jones, English Historical Review

"Monumental. . . . Scholars probing the mysteries of the late Old Regime and French Revolution will be working in its shadow for many years to come."-Thomas E. Kaiser, Journal of Modern History

Louis XVI of France, who was guillotined in 1793 during the Revolution and Reign of Terror, is commonly portrayed in fiction and film either as a weak and stupid despot in thrall to his…


The Queen's Fortune

By Allison Pataki,

Book cover of The Queen's Fortune: A Novel of Desiree, Napoleon, and the Dynasty That Outlasted the Empire

Diana Giovinazzo Author Of Antoinette's Sister

From the list on historical fiction about royalty.

Who am I?

We have all grown up with the notion that being princess or a queen is a fantasy to aspire to. In writing Antoinette's Sister, I wanted to explore if that fantasy was attainable or if royalty had the same struggles as the rest of us commoners. As the long-time co-host of the Wine, Women and Words Literary podcast I have had the pleasure of reading and interviewing a number of authors who also explored this concept.

Diana's book list on historical fiction about royalty

Why did Diana love this book?

Everyone knows about Josephine Bonaparte but what about the woman who came before, Desiree Clary? While the future Queen of Sweden was Napoleon’s first love, she eventually finds herself at odds with one of the greatest generals. I loved reading about another side of the French Revolution and what Napoleon was like before he was famous.

By Allison Pataki,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Queen's Fortune as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sweeping novel about the extraordinary woman who captured Napoleon’s heart, created a dynasty, and changed the course of history—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor's Wife, The Accidental Empress, and Sisi

“I absolutely loved The Queen’s Fortune, the fascinating, little-known story of Desiree Clary—the woman Napoleon left for Josephine—who ultimately triumphed and became queen of Sweden.”—Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls

As the French revolution ravages the country, Desiree Clary is faced with the life-altering truth that the world she has known and loved is gone and it’s fallen on her…


A New World Begins

By Jeremy D. Popkin,

Book cover of A New World Begins: The History of the French Revolution

Jack A. Goldstone Author Of Revolutions: A Very Short Introduction

From the list on discover the power of revolutions across history.

Who am I?

I have studied revolutions for over forty years, trying to understand how people fought for liberty and democracy--but also to understand how things so often went wrong!  I have worked at universities in the US, the UK, Japan, Germany, Russia, and Hong Kong, gaining a global view of how societies change. I have learned that everywhere people have to struggle for their rights.  Whether in ancient Greece or in modern Cambodia, the resulting revolutionary drama unfolds sometimes with wonderful results, but sometimes with tragedy.  No events better display the very best and worst that we can accomplish.  I’ve chosen the books on this list to convey the power of revolutions, their grand successes and tragic failures.

Jack's book list on discover the power of revolutions across history

Why did Jack love this book?

There are a thousand books on the French Revolution, but most of them focus on the foibles of the aristocracy, or the wild rage of the crowds, or the heroism of Napoleon. Popkin’s new history does a masterful job of covering all the key events and personalities in France in the years leading up to the Revolution and in its unfolding over almost two decades. He is particularly good at placing the Revolution in the context of world history (showing its relation to events in the New World, from the American Revolution to the Revolution in Haiti), and in keeping a focus on the role of the French Revolution in the history of liberty. Indeed, through the eyes of the revolutionaries and their followers in this book, you can watch the dawn of liberty arise in the early years of the Revolution, and then fade under the increasingly militarist and…

By Jeremy D. Popkin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A New World Begins as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The principles of the French Revolution remain the only possible basis for a just society -- even if, after more than two hundred years, they are more contested than ever before. In A New World Begins, Jeremy D. Popkin offers a riveting account of the revolution that puts the reader in the thick of the debates and the violence that led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a new society. We meet Mirabeau, Robespierre, and Danton, in all of their brilliance and vengefulness; we witness the failed escape and execution of Louis XVI; we see women…


Book cover of The French Revolution & What Went Wrong

Scott B. Macdonald Author Of The New Cold War, China, and the Caribbean: Economic Statecraft, China and Strategic Realignments

From the list on beach reads in an international relations hurricane.

Who am I?

My expertise in Caribbean and Chinese affairs derives from having an interest in the two regions since college, which was then pursued through a MA in Asian Studies from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut. On the employment front, I worked for 3 regional banks (as an international economist), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Credit Suisse, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, KWR International, and Aladdin Capital Management (as head of Credit and Economics Research) and Mitsubishi Corporation. Since I left Mitsubishi I returned to my two favorite interests, Asia and the Caribbean. 

Scott's book list on beach reads in an international relations hurricane

Why did Scott love this book?

No discussion of global history and politics would not be complete without some mention of the French Revolution. Clarke’s book was a wonderful romp into French history, providing an elegant and insightful discussion of what went wrong with the revolution – or why the outcome in la Belle France ended up in the Terror, Republican government and Napoleon Bonaparte, while England became a constitutional monarchy. Clarke offers up considerable food for thought. We would expect nothing less from the same man who wrote 1000 Years of Annoying the French and Talk to the Snail

By Stephen Clarke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The French Revolution & What Went Wrong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An entertaining and eye-opening look at the French Revolution, by Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and A Year in the Merde.

The French Revolution and What Went Wrong looks back at the French Revolution and how it's surrounded in a myth. In 1789, almost no one in France wanted to oust the king, let alone guillotine him. But things quickly escalated until there was no turning back.

The French Revolution and What Went Wrong looks at what went wrong and why France would be better off if they had kept their monarchy.


Book cover of The Oxford History of the French Revolution

Jeremy Black Author Of France: A Short History

From the list on the history of France.

Who am I?

I am a historian with wide-ranging interests and publications, including, in European history, histories of Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean, eighteenth-century Europe, Europe 1550-1800, Europe since 1945, and European warfare.

Jeremy's book list on the history of France

Why did Jeremy love this book?

Bill Doyle is the leading British interpreter of the French Revolution and this is a subtle account of its causes and course. Very good on the need to look for specific political causes rather than any supposedly inevitable pattern of socio-economic conflict.

By William Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Oxford History of the French Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since its first publication to mark the bicentenary of the French Revolution in 1989, this Oxford History has established itself as the Revolution's most authoritative and comprehensive one-volume history in English, and has recently been translated into Chinese. Running from the accession of Louis XVI in 1774, it traces the history of France through revolution, terror, and counter-revolution to the final triumph of Napoleon in 1802. It also analyses the impact of
events in France upon the rest of Europe and the world beyond. The study shows how a movement which began with optimism and general enthusiasm soon became a…


The French Revolution

By William Doyle,

Book cover of The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction

Peter McPhee Author Of Liberty or Death: The French Revolution

From the list on understanding the French Revolution.

Who am I?

I have spent much of my adult life studying the French Revolution with students who, like me, are engrossed by the drama, successes and tragedies of the Revolution, and the scale of the attempts to arrest or reverse it. Why and how did an apparently stable regime collapse in 1789? Why did it prove to be so difficult to stabilize a new order? How could claims to “liberty” and “equality” be balanced? And why was there a period of “terror” in 1793-94? When the Revolution was finally over, how had France and other parts of the world been changed? The answers to those questions remain open and continue to fascinate. 

Peter's book list on understanding the French Revolution

Why did Peter love this book?

Ever since 1789 people have asked how to explain such a massive upheaval in an apparently stable kingdom. Why did the Revolution follow its particular course after 1789? Why did it result in a civil war and international warfare? When was it “over”? And how “revolutionary” was the Revolution? Was France fundamentally changed as a result of it? What were the international repercussions?

An eminent historian of the eighteenth century here manages to condense decades of research and writing into a pocket-sized paperback. It is a superb, lucid, and up-to-date summary of the origins, course, and outcomes of the Revolution and of the ongoing debates about its meaning and significance, some of which involve Doyle’s own interpretations. 

By William Doyle,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The French Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The French Revolution is a time of history made familiar from Dickens, Baroness Orczy, and Tolstoy, as well as the legends of let them eat cake, and tricolours. Beginning in 1789, this period of extreme political and social unrest saw the end of the French monarchy, the death of an extraordinary number of people beneath the guillotine's blade during the Terror, and the rise of Napoleon, as well as far reaching consequences still with us today, such as the
enduring ideology of human rights, and decimalization.

In this Very Short Introduction, William Doyle introduces the French old regime and considers…


Book cover of Fashion in the French Revolution

Christine Adams Author Of The Creation of the French Royal Mistress: From Agnès Sorel to Madame Du Barry

From the list on the beauty and the politics of fashion.

Who am I?

As a child (and budding feminist), I inhaled historical fiction about queens and other formidable women. This led to my scholarly interest in female power and authority. Aristocratic women had meaningful political influence in Old Regime France through family networks and proximity to power. However, with the French Revolution of 1789, women’s exclusion from political power (and the vote) was made explicit. This led me to examine the tools women had to accumulate political and social capital, including beauty and the control of fashion. We need to take the intersection of beauty, fashion, and politics seriously to understand the operation of power in both history and the modern world. The books I chose privilege my own interest in eighteenth-century France, but have a broader significance. And they are all really fun to read!

Christine's book list on the beauty and the politics of fashion

Why did Christine love this book?

Ribeiro is the author of numerous books on beauty and fashion, but this is the one I always come back to. Here, she explicitly connects social and political trends to changes in dress, beginning in the 1780s to the rise of Napoleon. The analysis is straightforward and compelling, although she also acknowledges the nuance. It’s a terrific introduction to the political importance of fashion during a period when fashion could not have been more politically salient.

By Aileen Ribeiro,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fashion in the French Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Aileen Ribeiro's book explores the changes in dress during the French Revolution and links them with the rapidly shifting political climate. At a time of immense and violent change, clothing could sometimes be used to demonstrate either conformity or reaction to the prevailing situation. The author looks at the elaborate dress of French society and the court in the 1780s and the way in which plain clothing became identified with "democracy". The part played in the Revolution by the "sans-culottes" with their "bonnet rouge" and "pantalon", is explored, together with the role of militant women and the emergence of feminism.…


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