Napoleon's 100 days
Napoleon's 100 Days marked the period between Emperor Napoleon of France's return from exile on Elba to Paris on 20 March 1815 and the second restoration of King Louis XVIII on 8 July 1815.
This rich period of history saw the last conflict in the Napoleonic Wars, the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, the restoration of the French monarchy for the second time, and the permanent exile of Napoleon to the distant island of Saint Helena where he died in May 1821.
- Napoleon: 100 Days in 100 Objects - A Virtual Exhibition February 2015-September 2015
On March 20 1815, Napoleon marched into Paris with his supporters, having escaped from exile in Elba a month earlier. Louis XVIII had fled the capital in terror at the re-emergence of the military hero and former emperor. Napoleon’s ‘Hundred Days’ would be brought to an end only by the battle of Waterloo in June, which forced his abdication and subsequently ensured the restoration of Louis to the French throne in July. The Hundred Days is the final scene of Napoleon’s – and France’s - domination of the European stage, initiated by the French Revolution.
Although 2015 will bring a wide range of events in Britain commemorating Waterloo, the focus on the concluding battle tends to obscure the details of this final phase of France’s revolutionary transformation and its significance within Europe and the wider world. To tell some of that larger story we are mounting a virtual exhibition that will unfold step by step, in parallel with the Hundred Days from March to July in 2015. We will couple this with a programme of public activities focusing on the impact of the events on the publics in Europe and across the globe. A final conference in 2015 will conclude the project by drawing together scholars working on popular reactions across Europe and the wider world to Napoleon before and after his defeat.
The virtual exhibition is being hosted on the Warwick University website and is currently taking shape. It will be launched two months prior to the start of the 100 days and will include a range of material filling in the background to Napoleon’s exile in Elba and his activities there. For each day of the 100 days, we will identify one historical artefact, produce an image, together with material of specific importance to that day, and accompany the image with text identifying its significance and setting it in context. Our aim is to complement the site with a number of short podcasts of five to ten minutes each that refer to the objects in the exhibition, identify the range of contemporary viewpoints from across Europe and internationally on the developing Napoleonic crisis, and refer to the longer term significance of these events.
The Team: Kate Astbury (French) and Mark Philp (History) would assume over-all direction of the project, Kate linking it to her ‘French Theatre in the Napoleonic Era’ project, and drawing on her research team, Katherine Hambridge, Clare Siviter and Devon Cox. The project will solicit the contributions from an international team of historians with expertise and interests in this area and will involve a number of other academics from Warwick.
To submit an entry to the 100 Days site please use: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/research/digitalhumanities/100days
The site will be launched in February 2015 via wwww.100days.eu
Napoleon's 100 days: Print, Satire, Song and Theatre
One-day conference, 10am-6pm, 1 July 2014, Radcliffe House, Warwick University
The Departments of History and French Studies at the University of Warwick are holding a one-day conference on 1 July 2014 on the popular reactions in Europe and beyond to Napoleon's dramatic return to France and his brief reign and overthrow. Papers will identify a range of objects and speak to their significance as part of a story about how people reacted to and understood the return of Napoleon from Elba and his 100 day restoration as ruler of France. The conference will be followed by a ‘performance’ and by dinner, and overnight accommodation can be arranged. Please see the conference poster for more details.