In 1814, the European powers gathered together in Vienna to decide what to do about all the borders of all the countries that had been caught up in the just conclude Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Italy was, of course, included. The decision of the conference was to send back all the rulers who had been displaced by the wars no matter what any individual state might prefer. All rulers would come back to their previous governmental roles. This meant that many hated rulers rode back into their countries thanks to the Vienna conference. This was the state of affairs for Spain. The royal family was now loathed throughout the Iberian peninsula, but they came back to power anyway. This was true also in various parts of Italy. For example, in Naples where the Bourbon kings were hated, they came back anyway. Thus, in 1816, various states resumed almost where they had left off in 1789. But, of course, everything had changed. And in Italy, the thing that had changed most was that the people had had a taste of modern liberty. And they liked it.


Make sure you are buying this edition since it has been updated in 2007.

Giuseppe Di Lampedusa,

The Leopard: A Novel,

Pantheon; Reprint edition (November 6, 2007),

ISBN 0375714790

Christopher Duggan,

A Concise History of Italy,

Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (January 20, 2014),

ISBN 0521747430


David King,

Vienna, 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna,

Broadway; Reprint edition (March 24, 2009),

ISBN 0312372973

From Publishers Weekly

Leaders from the world's five major diplomatic forces - Great Britain, France, Austria, Prussia and Russia - convened in Vienna in 1814 to found a new order for post-Napoleonic Europe. Historian King (Finding Atlantis) calls it the greatest and most lavish party in history, at which delegates would plot, scheme, jockey for position, and, in short, infuriate each other as they competed in affairs of state and the heart. King covers the diplomatic wrangling well, particularly over the fates of Poland, Saxony and the Kingdom of Naples. His greater strength is in depicting the personalities and motivations of the key players, such as Metternich's daring love affair with a baroness and Czar Alexander I's growing reliance on a German mystic. Despite endless parties, the Congress achieved pioneering work in culture and human rights, including Jewish rights and a vote to abolish slavery. Most important, it established alliances that defeated Napoleon's attempt to regain power in 1815 and helped foster a spirit of cooperation that, in some ways, has still not been surpassed. King's fine work is not quite as scholarly as the book it recalls, Margaret Macmillan's Paris 1919, but it is more deftly paced and engagingly written. 16 pages of b&w photos. (Mar.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"King reveals his talent for narrative flow and portraiture in a biography that will thoroughly inveigle history readers." - Booklist

"A teeming…personality-rich panorama of the first truly international peace conference." - Kirkus Reviews

"A fascinating tale that shines light on a unique aspect of the relationship between scholarship and nationalism." - Choice


David Lawday,

Napoleon's Master: A Life of Prince Talleyrand,

Thomas Dunne Books (November 13, 2007),

ISBN 0312372973

From Publishers Weekly

Charles-Maurice de Tallyrand-Perigord (1754-1838) was a diplomat for all regimes. He had major French governmental posts, including brief stints as prime minister, for nearly four decades: during the post-terror phase of the French Revolution and then under Napoleon and the Bourbon King Louis XVIII. As portrayed by Lawday, a former correspondent for the Economist, Talleyrand was a womanizer (he and Gouverneur Morris, then the American ambassador to Paris, competed for the same mistress) and a Thurs.ey-grubber, with a certain aristocratic hauteur. Yet Tallyrand was gifted at diplomacy: he was patient, an exceptional listener and, most important, a conciliator. Having had an exceptionally close relationship with Napoleon, he came to staunchly oppose the emperor's insatiable ambition and even committed near-treason in his complicity with Austria and Russia against Napoleon. Lawday devotes appropriate space to Talleyrand's finest moment, the 1815 Congress of Vienna, where his skills steered the assembled diplomats to allowing France to remain an integral part of the concert of Europe. Though comprehensive and quite good, Lawday's biography is long on narrative, hewing closely to the details of Tallyrand's unfolding life, but short on analyses of Tallyrand's choices and of the broader French and European contexts in which he acted. 8 pages of b&w photos; maps. (Nov.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Swift, informed and literate." ---Kirkus Reviews

"Comprehensive and quite good." ---Publishers Weekly