The Empress Eugénie in England - Art, Architecture, Collecting

Art & History - Publisher Holberton - Ouvrage relié - 240 pages - Text in English - Published in 2022

This absorbing book tells the story of Empress Eugénie (1826-1920), the wife of Napoleon III and the last Empress-Consort of France.

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in this language
Model 9781916237827
Artist Art & History
Author Anthony Geraghty
Publisher Holberton
Format Ouvrage relié
Number of pages 240
Language English
Dimensions 290 x 240
Published 2022

Today she is remembered for her physical beauty, for her influence as a taste maker and for her glittering contribution to the second imperial court - but she outlived the Second Empire by half a century and lived in exile in England.

The Empress bought the Farnborough Hill estate in 1880, following a decade of personal tragedy: the collapse of the Second Empire (1852–70), the death of Napoleon III, and the loss of her only child. The death of the Prince Imperial in 1879, aged twenty-three, ended all hope of a Bonapartist restoration. With the imperial succession removed to another branch of the family, Eugénie resolved to create a permanent monument to her husband and son.

In this book, Anthony Geraghty analyzes the principal buildings on the imperial estate and provides the first detailed account of the lost interiors of Farnborough Hill. He traces the origins of the collection back to the Second French Empire, and—drawing upon historic photos, inventories, and sale catalogs—he shows how the collection was displayed in the principal rooms of the house. Finally, the book describes the breakup of the estate in 1927, when the house was sold to a convent school and the collection was dispersed at auction. Today, only the Mausoleum functions as Eugénie originally envisaged. Geraghty, however, recovers the totality of Eugenie’s vision for Farnborough. In so doing, he describes how the Napoleonic ideal, for one final time, was made visible through art, architecture, and collecting.


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