Ambassadorial and Secret Service Reports on Revolutionary and Napoleonic France: PRO Class FPO27, France, General Correspondence, Volumes 1-20

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Overview

The French Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire are two of the most intensively studied subjects in world history. The entire face of Europe was changed, the social order was threatened, and Britain and France continued the savage struggle for colonial supremacy.

Devoted to the French Revolutionary era, these rich files cover the Napoleonic dynasty, the Peninsular War, the invasion of Russia, the Waterloo campaign and the final dramatic years between 1812 and 1815, when diplomatic relations broke down and the usual reports were replaced by accounts from paid informers, spies and subversives.

Particularly prominent are the reports and advice of Thomas Walpole, Richard Oswald, Thomas Grenville, the Duke of Manchester, the Duke of Dorset and William Eden.

The British ambassadorial and secret service papers highlight the French bankruptcy of 1786 and the growing tension after this period, in particular after the riots of 1788. Two treaties dominate many accounts: the Versailles Treaty of 1783 and the Eden-Vergennes "Free Trade" Treaty of 1786.