The Last Emperor of Mexico

£20.00

Here is history’s judgement on the events surrounding the ill-fated reign of Maximilian of Mexico, the young Austrian archduke who in 1864 crossed the Atlantic to assume a faraway throne. He had been convinced to do so by a duplicitous Napoleon III. Keen to spread his own interests abroad, the French emperor promised Maximilian a hero’s welcome, which he would ensure with his own mighty military support. Instead, Maximilian walked into a bloody guerrilla war – and with a headful of impractical ideals and a penchant for pomp and butterflies, the so-called new emperor was singularly unequipped for the task. ‘The Last Emperor of Mexico’ is the vivid history of this barely known, barely believable episode – a bloody tragedy of operatic proportions, and a vital debacle, the effects of which would be felt into the twentieth century and beyond.

ISBN: 9780571360574 Author: Shawcross, Edward Publisher: Faber & Faber Publication Date: 20th January 2022 Imprint: Faber & Faber Cover: Hardback Dewey: 972.07092 (edition:23) Pages: 336 Language: English Readership: General - Trade / Code: K Category: Subjects: , ,

‘The jaw-dropping tale of Mexico’s Habsburg emperor is told with brio and narrative punch.This is a page-turning history of imperial hubris and nemesis, deceit and delusion, love and betrayal on a grand scale, written in an easy, lucid style.’ Sunday Times

‘Edward Shawcross’s entertaining history explores one of the most reckless political and military adventures of the 19th century . . . the attempt in the 1860s to establish a monarchy in Mexico under Maximilian, the Habsburg archduke who was the brother of Franz Joseph, emperor of Austria. . . A superbly entertaining and well-researched account that sets a new standard for histories of the doomed escapade.’ Financial Times

‘One of the most monstrous enterprises in the annals of international history,’
said Karl Marx. ‘
A madness without parallel since Don Quixote,’ said a future French president.
This is history’s judgement on the events surrounding the ill-fated reign of Maximilian of Mexico, the young Austrian archduke who in 1864 crossed the Atlantic to assume a faraway throne.

He had been convinced to do so by a duplicitous Napoleon III. Keen to spread his own interests abroad, the French emperor promised Maximilian a hero’s welcome, which he would ensure with his own mighty military support. Instead, Maximilian walked into a bloody guerrilla war – and with a headful of impractical ideals and a penchant for pomp and butterflies, the so-called new emperor was singularly unequipped for the task.

The ensuing saga would feature the great world leaders of the day, popes, bandits and queens; intrigue, conspiracy and cut-throat statecraft, as Mexico became the pivotal battleground in the global balance of power, between Old Europe and the burgeoning force of the New World: American imperialism.

The Last Emperor of Mexico is the vivid history of this barely known, barely believable episode – a bloody tragedy of operatic proportions, and a vital debacle, the effects of which would be felt into the twentieth century and beyond.

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