In this steel-trap-plotted suspense novel set in the Boston area, Gage Decker and his wife, who are eager for a child, take in a troubled pregnant woman, Lily, who promises to let them adopt her baby. A thrilling plot blends smoothly with a passionate denunciation of the Chinese oppression of the Tibetan people. Engineering geeks will relish this SF thriller in which astronaut Mark Watney gets stranded on Mars with limited supplies and is presumed dead. Mystery Top Apple Books. Zeebra Books. Published September 1st by Gallic Books first published January 1st More Details Napoleonic Murders 3.
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Memory of Flames (The Napoleonic Murders)
Sort order. A top end 3. I enjoyed this the most in the trilogy, with there seeming to be a better fit of the battle history and the crime "mystery". Feb 20, Janka H. A killer in the shadows. A city in the turmoil. An adversary who might be much more understandable that you would think. March, But Parisians are carelessly relying on the Napoleon's military genius.
But the tide is turning and this time the genius might not be enough. And the royalists, hidden in the darkness, are eagerly preparing to reinstall the king of the Bourbon house. Then the Colonel Berle, the one drawing the A killer in the shadows. Then the Colonel Berle, the one drawing the defense plan for Paris, is found assassinated with his face burned by flames. And Lieutenant Colonel Quentin Margont once again finds himself under orders to solve the murder and also finds the Tsar's emissary hiding in Paris - and all this undercover.
He is to enter the secret royalist' group - but how can an idealist Republican successfully appear as the one with totally opposite thinking? This is the best in the series.
The military aspect is downplayed and the psychological is at its strong. I believe that this is because Quentin Margont is challenged on a very personal level - this is not just about the crime solving, this is about confronting his ideals with the reality in which he lives, and finding himself and his place in that situation. Maybe that's because he finds it so uncomfortable to transform into an opposite being, a royalist - but this challenge is both unnecessary and liberating at the end.
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The story of a killer is very human one, actually. He is not genuinely insane because of being born that way, it is the environment and circumstances yes, together with his free will what had shaped him into a killer. An interesting story and a good reminder! The historical context is rich and truly got me into thinking how the times of ending kingdom, revolution and empire were for the people, how much blood was spent in waste and how to get into terms with it if it is humanely possible. The third one in the series is a charm and I am sad to see the series go.
This is to hope that we can meet again, Monsieur Margont! Aug 11, Maria Beltrami rated it really liked it Shelves: narrativa-francese , thriller , romanzo-storico. Interessantissima ricostruzione storica del clima parigino alla vigilia della caduta di Napoleone, trama gialla molto articolata e personaggi approfonditi e realistici. Lettura davvero consigliabile. Ringrazio Gallic Book e Netgalley per avermi fornito una copia gratuita in cambio di una recensione onesta.
After failing to defeat Russia, Napoleon is now in the descending phase of his parable, with the European monarchies which are allied and now are after him. Clemenceau, a friend of several revolutionaries, tried to negotiate a compromise; some cannons would remain in Paris and the rest go to the army. However, Thiers and the National Assembly did not accept his proposals.
The chief executive wanted to restore order and national authority in Paris as quickly as possible, and the cannons became a symbol of that authority. The Assembly also refused to prolong the moratorium on debt collections imposed during the war; and suspended two radical newspapers, Le Cri du Peuple of Jules Valles and Le Mot d'Ordre of Henri Rochefort , which further inflamed Parisian radical opinion.
Thiers also decided to move the National Assembly and government from Bordeaux to Versailles, rather than to Paris, to be farther away from the pressure of demonstrations, which further enraged the National Guard and the radical political clubs. Thiers announced a plan to send the army the next day to take charge of the cannons.
Vinoy urged that they wait until Germany had released the French prisoners of war, and the army returned to full strength. Thiers insisted that the planned operation must go ahead as quickly as possible, to have the element of surprise. If the seizure of the cannon was not successful, the government would withdraw from the centre of Paris, build up its forces, and then attack with overwhelming force, as they had done during the uprising of June The Council accepted his decision, and Vinoy gave orders for the operation to begin the next day.
Early in the morning of 18 March, two brigades of soldiers climbed the butte of Montmartre , where the largest collection of cannons, in number, were located. A small group of revolutionary national guardsmen were already there, and there was a brief confrontation between the brigade led by General Claude Lecomte , and the National Guard; one guardsman, named Turpin, was shot dead. Word of the shooting spread quickly, and members of the National Guard from all over the neighbourhood, including Clemenceau, hurried to the site to confront the soldiers.
While the Army had succeeded in securing the cannons at Belleville and Buttes-Chaumont and other strategic points, at Montmartre a crowd gathered and continued to grow, and the situation grew increasingly tense. The horses that were needed to move the cannon away did not arrive, and the army units were immobilized. As the soldiers were surrounded, they began to break ranks and join the crowd. General Lecomte tried to withdraw, and then ordered his soldiers to load their weapons and fix bayonets.
He thrice ordered them to fire, but the soldiers refused. Some of the officers were disarmed and taken to the city hall of Montmartre, under the protection of Clemenceau. General Lecomte and the officers of his staff were seized by the guardsmen and his mutinous soldiers and taken to the local headquarters of the National Guard at the ballroom of the Chateau-Rouge.
The officers were pelted with rocks, struck, threatened, and insulted by the crowd.
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In the middle of the afternoon Lecomte and the other officers were taken to 6 Rue des Rosiers by members of a group calling themselves The Committee of Vigilance of the 18th arrondissement , who demanded that they be tried and executed. An ardent republican and fierce disciplinarian, he had helped suppress the armed uprising of June against the Second Republic.
Because of his republican beliefs, he had been arrested by Napoleon III and exiled, and had only returned to France after the downfall of the Empire. He was particularly hated by the national guardsmen of Montmartre and Belleville because of the severe discipline he imposed during the siege of Paris. A few minutes later, they did the same to General Lecomte. General Vinoy ordered the army to pull back to the Seine, and Thiers began to organise a withdrawal to Versailles, where he could gather enough troops to take back Paris.
They were not aware that Thiers, the government, and the military commanders were at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the gates were open and there were few guards. They were also unaware that Marshal Patrice MacMahon , the future commander of the forces against the Commune, had just arrived at his home in Paris, having just been released from imprisonment in Germany. As soon as he heard the news of the uprising, he made his way to the railway station, where national guardsmen were already stopping and checking the identity of departing passengers.
A sympathetic station manager hid him in his office and helped him board a train, and he escaped the city. While he was at the railway station, national guardsmen sent by the Central Committee arrived at his house looking for him. On the advice of General Vinoy, Thiers ordered the evacuation to Versailles of all the regular forces in Paris, some 40, soldiers, including those in the fortresses around the city; the regrouping of all the army units in Versailles; and the departure of all government ministries from the city.
In February, while the national government had been organising in Bordeaux, a new rival government had been organised in Paris. The National Guard had not been disarmed as per the armistice, and had on paper battalions of 1, men each, a total of , men. On 15 March, just before the confrontation between the National Guard and the regular army over the cannons, 1, delegates of the federation of organisations created by the National Guard elected a leader, Giuseppe Garibaldi who was in Italy and respectfully declined the title , and created a Central Committee of 38 members, which made its headquarters in a school on the Rue Basfroi , between Place de la Bastille and La Roquette.
Late on 18 March, when they learned that the regular army was leaving Paris, units of the National Guard moved quickly to take control of the city. The first to take action were the followers of Blanqui, who went quickly to the Latin Quarter and took charge of the gunpowder stored in the Pantheon , and to the Orleans railway station. That night, the National Guard occupied the offices vacated by the government; they quickly took over the Ministries of Finance, the Interior, and War.
A red flag was hoisted over the building. The extreme-left members of the Central Committee, led by the Blanquists, demanded an immediate march on Versailles to disperse the Thiers government and to impose their authority on all of France; but the majority first wanted to establish a more solid base of legal authority in Paris. The Committee officially lifted the state of siege, named commissions to administer the government, and called elections for 23 March. They also sent a delegation of mayors of the Paris arrondissements , led by Clemenceau, to negotiate with Thiers in Versailles to obtain a special independent status for Paris.
At least 12 people were killed and many wounded. In Paris, hostility was growing between the elected republican mayors, including Clemenceau, who believed that they were legitimate leaders of Paris, and the Central Committee of the National Guard. The elections of 26 March elected a Commune council of 92 members, one for every 20, residents.
Ahead of the elections, the Central Committee and the leaders of the International gave out their lists of candidates, mostly belonging to the extreme left. The candidates had only a few days to campaign. Thiers' government in Versailles urged Parisians to abstain from voting.
When the voting was finished, , Parisians had voted, out of , registered voters, or forty-eight percent. In upper-class neighborhoods many abstained from voting: 77 percent of voters in the 7th and 8th arrondissements; 68 percent in the 15th, 66 percent in the 16th, and 62 percent in the 6th and 9th. But in the working-class neighborhoods, turnout was high: 76 percent in the 20th arrondissement, 65 percent in the 19th, and 55 to 60 percent in the 10th, 11th, and 12th.
A few candidates, including Blanqui who had been arrested when outside Paris, and was in prison in Brittany , won in several arrondissements. Other candidates who were elected, including about twenty moderate republicans and five radicals, refused to take their seats. In the end, the Council had just 60 members. Nine of the winners were Blanquists some of whom were also from the International ; twenty-five, including Delescluze and Pyat, classified themselves as "Independent Revolutionaries"; about fifteen were from the International; the rest were from a variety of radical groups.
One of the best-known candidates, Georges Clemenceau , received only votes. The professions represented in the council were 33 workers; five small businessmen; 19 clerks, accountants and other office staff; twelve journalists; and a selection of workers in the liberal arts. All were men; women were not allowed to vote. The new Commune held its first meeting on 28 March in a euphoric mood. The members adopted a dozen proposals, including an honorary presidency for Blanqui; the abolition of the death penalty ; the abolition of military conscription ; a proposal to send delegates to other cities to help launch communes there; and a resolution declaring that membership in the Paris Commune was incompatible with being a member of the National Assembly.
This was aimed particularly at Pierre Tirard , the republican mayor of the 2nd arrondissement , who had been elected to both Commune and National Assembly. Seeing the more radical political direction of the new Commune, Tirard and some twenty republicans decided it was wisest to resign from the Commune. A resolution was also passed, after a long debate, that the deliberations of the Council were to be secret, since the Commune was effectively at war with the government in Versailles and should not make its intentions known to the enemy.
Following the model proposed by the more radical members, the new government had no president, no mayor, and no commander in chief. The Commune began by establishing nine commissions, similar to those of the National Assembly, to manage the affairs of Paris. The commissions in turn reported to an Executive Commission.
One of the first measures passed declared that military conscription was abolished, that no military force other than the National Guard could be formed or introduced into the capital, and that all healthy male citizens were members of the National Guard. The new system had one important weakness: the National Guard now had two different commanders.
They reported to both the Central Committee of the National Guard and to the Executive Commission, and it was not clear which one was in charge of the inevitable war with Thiers' government. The Commune adopted the discarded French Republican Calendar  during its brief existence and used the socialist red flag rather than the republican tricolor.
Despite internal differences, the Council began to organise the public services essential for a city of two million residents. It also reached a consensus on certain policies that tended towards a progressive, secular, and highly democratic social democracy. Because the Commune met on fewer than sixty days in all, only a few decrees were actually implemented.
These included:. The decrees separated the church from the state, appropriated all church property to public property, and excluded the practice of religion from schools. In theory, the churches were allowed to continue their religious activity only if they kept their doors open for public political meetings during the evenings. In practice, many churches were closed, and many priests were arrested and held as hostages, in the hope of trading them for Blanqui, imprisoned in Brittany since 17 March. The workload of the Commune leaders was usually enormous. The Council members who were not "representatives" but delegates, subject in theory to immediate recall by their electors were expected to carry out many executive and military functions as well as their legislative ones.
Numerous organisations were set up during the siege in the localities quartiers to meet social needs, such as canteens and first-aid stations. For example, in the 3rd arrondissement , school materials were provided free, three parochial schools were "laicised", and an orphanage was established. In the 20th arrondissement , schoolchildren were provided with free clothing and food. At the same time, these local assemblies pursued their own goals, usually under the direction of local workers.
Despite the moderate reformism of the Commune council, the composition of the Commune as a whole was much more revolutionary. Revolutionary factions included Proudhonists an early form of moderate anarchism , members of the international socialists, Blanquists, and more libertarian republicans.
Women played an important role in both the initiation and the governance of the Commune, though women could not vote in the Commune elections and there were no elected women members of the Commune itself. Go and Fight! If I'm killed it will be because I've done some killing first! While carrying back the laundry she was given by the guardsmen, she carried away the body of her lover, Jean Guy, who was a butcher's apprentice. The Paris Journal reported that soldiers arrested 13 women who allegedly threw petrol into houses.
While clear that Communards set some of the fires, the reports of women participating in it was overly exaggerated at the time. Believing that their struggle against patriarchy [ citation needed ] could only be pursued through a global struggle against capitalism, the association demanded gender and wage equality , the right of divorce for women, the right to secular education, and professional education for girls. They also demanded suppression of the distinction between married women and concubines, and between legitimate and illegitimate children.
The Women's Union also participated in several municipal commissions and organised cooperative workshops. Victorine Brocher , close to the IWA activists, and founder of a cooperative bakery in , also fought during the Commune and the Bloody Week. A female battalion from the National Guard defended the Place Blanche during the repression. A former clerk of a notary, accountant in a bank and employee of the city's bridges and roads department, Jourde maintained the Commune's accounts with prudence.
Paris's tax receipts amounted to 20 million francs, with another six million seized at the Hotel de Ville. The expenses of the Commune were 42 million, the largest part going to pay the daily salary of the National Guard. Jourde first obtained a loan from the Rothschild Bank , then paid the bills from the city account, which was soon exhausted.
The gold reserves of the Bank of France had been moved out of Paris for safety in August , but its vaults contained 88 million francs in gold coins and million francs in banknotes. When the Thiers government left Paris in March, they did not have the time or the reliable soldiers to take the money with them. The reserves were guarded by national guardsmen who were themselves Bank of France employees. Some Communards wanted to appropriate the bank's reserves to fund social projects, but Jourde resisted, explaining that without the gold reserves the currency would collapse and all the money of the Commune would be worthless.
This was approved by Thiers, who felt that to negotiate a future peace treaty the Germans were demanding war reparations of five billion francs; the gold reserves would be needed to keep the franc stable and pay the indemnity. Jourde's prudence was later condemned by Karl Marx and other Marxists, who felt the Commune should have confiscated the bank's reserves and spent all the money immediately. Their offices were invaded and closed by crowds of the Commune's supporters. After 18 April other newspapers sympathetic to Versailles were also closed.
The Versailles government, in turn, imposed strict censorship and prohibited any publication in favour of the Commune. At the same time, the number of pro-Commune newspapers and magazines published in Paris during the Commune expanded exponentially. It specialised in humour, vulgarity and extreme abuse against the opponents of the Commune. A republican press also flourished, including such papers as Le Mot d'Ordre of Henri Rochefort, which was both violently anti-Versailles and critical of the faults and excesses of the Commune.
The most popular republican paper was Le Rappel , which condemned both Thiers and the killing of generals Lecomte and Clement-Thomas by the Communards. Its editor Auguste Vacquerie was close to Victor Hugo , whose son wrote for the paper. The editors wrote, "We are against the National Assembly, but we are not for the Commune. That which we defend, that which we love, that which we admire, is Paris. From the beginning, the Commune had a hostile relationship with the Catholic Church. On 2 April, soon after the Commune was established, it voted a decree accusing the Catholic Church of "complicity in the crimes of the monarchy.
Over the next seven weeks, some two hundred priests, nuns and monks were arrested, and twenty-six churches were closed to the public. At the urging of the more radical newspapers, National Guard units searched the basements of churches, looking for evidence of alleged sadism and criminal practices. More extreme elements of the National Guard carried out mock religious processions and parodies of religious services. Early in May, some of the political clubs began to demand the immediate execution of Archbishop Darboy and the other priests in the prison.
The Archbishop and a number of priests were executed during Bloody Week, in retaliation for the execution of Commune soldiers by the regular army. It was voted on 12 April by the executive committee of the Commune, which declared that the column was "a monument of barbarism" and a "symbol of brute force and false pride.
In October, he had called for a new column, made of melted-down German cannons, "the column of peoples, the column of Germany and France, forever federated. The ceremonial destruction took place on 16 May. The first effort to pull down the column failed, but at in the afternoon the column broke from its base and shattered into three pieces. The pedestal was draped with red flags, and pieces of the statue were taken to be melted down and made into coins.
According to the decree of the Commune, the works of art were to be donated to the Louvre which refused them and the furniture was to be sold, the money to be given to widows and orphans of the fighting. The house was emptied and destroyed on 12 May. In Versailles, Thiers had estimated that he needed , men to recapture Paris, and that he had only about 20, reliable first-line soldiers, plus about 5, gendarmes. He worked rapidly to assemble a new and reliable regular army. Most of the soldiers were prisoners of war who had just been released by the Germans, following the terms of the armistice.
Others were sent from military units in all of the provinces. He was highly popular both within the army and in the country. By 30 March, less than two weeks after the Army's Montmartre rout, it began skirmishing with the National Guard on the outskirts of Paris. They decided to launch an offensive against the Army in Versailles within five days. The attack was first launched on the morning of 2 April by five battalions who crossed the Seine at the Pont de Neuilly.
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The National Guard troops were quickly repulsed by the Army, with a loss of about twelve soldiers. One officer of the Versailles army, a surgeon from the medical corps, was killed; the National Guardsmen had mistaken his uniform for that of a gendarme. Five national guardsmen were captured by the regulars; two were Army deserters and two were caught with their weapons in their hands.
General Vinoy, the commander of the Paris Military District, had ordered any prisoners who were deserters from the Army to be shot. The commander of the regular forces, Colonel Georges Ernest Boulanger , went further and ordered that all four prisoners be summarily shot. The practice of shooting prisoners captured with weapons became common in the bitter fighting in the weeks ahead. Despite this first failure, Commune leaders were still convinced that, as at Montmartre, French army soldiers would refuse to fire on national guardsmen.
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They prepared a massive offensive of 27, national guardsmen who would advance in three columns. They were expected to converge at the end of 24 hours at the gates of the Palace of Versailles. They advanced on the morning of 3 April—without cavalry to protect the flanks, without artillery, without stores of food and ammunition, and without ambulances—confident of rapid success.
They passed by the line of forts outside the city, believing them to be occupied by national guardsmen. In fact the army had re-occupied the abandoned forts on 28 March. The National Guard soon came under heavy artillery and rifle fire; they broke ranks and fled back to Paris. Once again national guardsmen captured with weapons were routinely shot by army units.
Commune leaders responded to the execution of prisoners by the Army by passing a new order on 5 April—the Decree on Hostages. Under the decree, any person accused of complicity with the Versailles government could be immediately arrested, imprisoned and tried by a special jury of accusation. Those convicted by the jury would become "hostages of the people of Paris. The National Assembly in Versailles responded to the decree the next day; it passed a law allowing military tribunals to judge and punish suspects within 24 hours. They are not fighting with cannon shots, they are slaughtering each other with decrees.
By April, as MacMahon's forces steadily approached Paris, divisions arose within the Commune about whether to give absolute priority to military defence, or to political and social freedoms and reforms. The publications La Commune , La Justice and Valles' Le Cri du Peuple feared that a more authoritarian government would destroy the kind of social republic they wanted to achieve.
Soon, the Council of the Commune voted, with strong opposition, for the creation of a Committee of Public Safety, modelled on the eponymous Committee that carried out the Reign of Terror — Because of the implications carried by its name, many members of the Commune opposed the Committee of Public Safety's creation. The Committee was given extensive powers to hunt down and imprison enemies of the Commune.
Led by Raoul Rigault , it began to make several arrests, usually on suspicion of treason, intelligence with the enemy, or insults to the Commune. Those arrested included General Edmond-Charles de Martimprey , the governor of the Invalides, alleged to have caused the assassination of revolutionaries in December —as well as more recent commanders of the National Guard, including Gustave Cluseret. The policy of holding hostages for possible reprisals was denounced by some defenders of the Commune, including Victor Hugo, in a poem entitled "No Reprisals" published in Brussels on 21 April.
Thiers refused the proposal. On 14 May, Rigault proposed to exchange 70 hostages for the extreme-left leader, and Thiers again refused. Since every able-bodied man in Paris was obliged to be a member of the National Guard, the Commune on paper had an army of about , men on 6 May; the actual number was much lower, probably between 25, and 50, men. At the beginning of May, 20 percent of the National Guard was reported absent without leave. The National Guard had hundreds of cannons and thousands of rifles in its arsenal, but only half of the cannons and two-thirds of the rifles were ever used.
There were heavy naval cannons mounted on the ramparts of Paris, but few national guardsmen were trained to use them. Between the end of April and 20 May, the number of trained artillerymen fell from 5, to 2, The officers of the National Guard were elected by the soldiers, and their leadership qualities and military skills varied widely. Gustave Clusaret, the commander of the National Guard until his dismissal on 1 May, had tried to impose more discipline in the army, disbanding many unreliable units and making soldiers live in barracks instead of at home.
He recruited officers with military experience, particularly Polish officers who had fled to France in , after Russians crushed the January Uprising ; they played a prominent role in the last days of the Commune. On 5 May, he was appointed commander of the Commune's whole army. Dombrowski held this position until 23 May, when he was killed while defending the city barricades. One of the key strategic points around Paris was Fort Issy , south of the city near the Porte de Versailles, which blocked the route of the Army into Paris. The fort's garrison was commanded by Leon Megy, a former mechanic and a militant Blanquist, who had been sentenced to 20 years hard labour for killing a policeman.
After being freed he had led the takeover of the prefecture of Marseille by militant revolutionaries. The army commander, General Ernest de Cissey , began a systematic siege and a heavy bombardment of the fort that lasted three days and three nights. At the same time Cissey sent a message to Colonel Megy, with the permission of Marshal MacMahon, offering to spare the lives of the fort's defenders, and let them return to Paris with their belongings and weapons, if they surrendered the fort.
Colonel Megy gave the order, and during the night of 29—30 April, most of the soldiers evacuated the fort and returned to Paris. Before General Cissey and the Versailles army could occupy the fort, the National Guard rushed reinforcements there and re-occupied all the positions. General Cluseret, commander of the National Guard, was dismissed and put in prison. General Cissey resumed the intense bombardment of the fort.