Remember that what has once been done may be done again. Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers were inspired by the life of his father, Alexandre. However, Alexandre Sr. was not just a handsome swashbuckler or a vengeful former prisoner. The boy who came from Haiti to France as “slave Alexandre” in 1776 had, by the age of 32, become commander-in-chief of the French revolutionary army in the Alps, eventually leading 53,000 troops to victory against formidably trained Austrian alpine forces. [more inside]
"A giraffe, refusing to condescend to all the fuss, stood calmly in the rising water and later died of pneumonia."
Around the time of the flooding in Troyes a plant in the south-east of Paris which supplied compressed air to the owners of ‘pneumatique’ equipment – lifts, ventilation, industrial machinery – was submerged. Parisians were fond of compressed-air technology. It was how the postal service delivered mail from one office to another in small brass shuttles propelled along a network of tubes. It was also used to keep the clocks ticking on the streets of the city and, by subscription, in private apartments. When the plant went underwater during the night, pneumatic time stopped dead.Pavements Like Jelly is an article by Jeremy Harding describing the 1910 Great Flood of Paris which started 100 years ago today. Photo exhibition with 1300 photographs focusing on Paris. Even more photos, taking in the entire Seine. Both sites are Flash heavy, for a smaller selection of non-Flash pictures go here and here. [1910 Paris Flood previously on MetaFilter]
The Napoleon Series has been collecting Napoleonic scholarship since 1995. Its monstrously replete archive includes articles on Napoleon's role in Jewish emancipation, the Institute of Egypt and its investigation of the Rosetta Stone, obscure British generals, the Malet Conspiracy, and the never realized North American Empire; memoirs from the Russian Archives; and a massive collection of maps and battlefield tours.