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The duel

On 2nd December 1851, the President of the Republic, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, breaches the constitution and arrogates all powers to himself before proclaiming himself emperor. A man has been tracking the every move of this political opportunist, now known as Napoleon III, for months. He denounces this crime and mounts a fierce opposition. He is Victor Hugo, member of the dissolved Assembly and famous author.
The man at the top reveals previously unsuspected qualities of statesmanship and the other, exiled on the stormy island of Guernsey, embodies the democratic ideal that has been so flouted. In fact, they know each other well. Their enmity is fuelled by a mutual fascination and fanned by numerous similarities between them.
This is the account of a terrible combat that will last 20 years, until the shameful downfall of the political opportunist and the glorious ascendancy of the prophet who heralds the return of the Republic…


“L’Histoire, ce sont aussi des duels. Frédéric Mitterrand retrace avec brio celui qui opposa Victor Hugo et Napoléon III.”
François-Guillaume Lorrain, Le Point

“À lire absolument !”
Cécile de Ménibus, Sud Radio


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