THE ‘unknown’ FRANCO-PRUSSIAN WAR
Volume 5 of the Brandt Family Chronicles
By Oliver Fairfax
European peace, finally won at Waterloo and settled by Castlereagh in 1815, has begun to fray. By 1868, France is near bankruptcy again. The government of Louis Napoleon III has spent fortunes beautifying and modernizing Paris.
It has also built a massive network of canals and railways. The projects have bought employment, but they have not been set up as profitable businesses and debt has mounted.
Taxes have been raised over and again and even the peasants are impoverished. History tells observers that the French government goes to war to refill its coffers whenever the need arises. Will they do it again?
Dr. Otto Brandt, Paul’s grandson, travels to southern Spain with his sister, Amelia (a scandal in the making her mother is certain) on a family visit to their Aunt Sasha.
Typically for the Brandts, they find trouble and step into General Prim’s rebellion to overthrow the despotic Queen Isabella II. As a doctor, Otto is invited to join the rebel force. As an apprentice strumpet, Amelia follows Colonel De Torres, a rebel officer.
Victorious and established in Madrid, Prim enlists Otto’s aid and exposes him to the risks that spies must take. On his travels between Berlin, Paris and Madrid, Otto encounters the beautiful American agent Eleanor, but co-operation remains elusive.
The international situation disintegrates as the French economy folds over. The Paris government casts possessive eyes over the vacant Spanish throne, even as the Prussians debate accepting it and war between France and Prussia becomes inevitable.
German-speaking residents of Paris are targeted for retribution by an over-excited population and Elihu Washburne, the American Minister in Paris runs an escape route for twenty thousand victims trapped in the city.
The Franco-Prussian War builds out of a newspaper fuelled lust for battle and blind faith in two new super weapons, La Mitrailleuse and Le fusil Chassepot. Too many vested interests make a tangled knot, that Otto must not cut, because both Eleanor and Amelia are entwined in it. Where are they?
There is no time to lose as Paris resorts to the rattle and crash of the glittering guillotine to thin the ranks of its enemies, both real and of opportunity. Here is drama, intrigue and excitement as history churns in all its beastliness and complexity.
ABOUT THE BRANDT FAMILY CHRONICLES
The series, at the time of writing, comprises seven books ranging from the Napoleonic Wars (Vols 1-4), through The Franco-Prussian War (Vols 5,6), to the Cold War (Vol 7). They start at a time when Germany was conceived and develop through its birth to modern times. (1950). The thread is the Brandt Family and their adventures. The environment is German history.
History is written by the winner and, from ace to knave, it’s a pack of lies. These books are not German history. They are a unique view of German history and the stories are told from this deserted and neglected standpoint.
This, so-far, unilluminated emphasis discloses both a disguised truth and a hidden one. Germany is not the warmonger it has been painted and as the series develops, readers’ curiosity may be piqued into checking to see if they agree with the author’s conclusions.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Oliver Fairfax is a nomad. A Scot by birth, he has wandered from England to Hong Kong and back – twice. He has lived in France and now in New Zealand. He worries that a generation is rising who cannot tell the difference between a citizen and a subject.
He is concerned about the pervasive growth of regulation that cannot be afforded, cannot be complied with, but that seeks to remove free choice. He worries also about political correctness and the suppression of dissonance being two policies that misinform ordinary people’s decision-making processes.
But those irritants aside, life’s great! – and remember, you should never have joined if you can’t take a joke.