"Maximilian and Juarez" recounts one of the great tragicomedies of nineteenth century, the attempt by Napoleon III to establish Archduke Maximilian of Austria as the Emperor of Mexico. This ill-starred undertaking that pitted liberals against conservatives and the New World against the Old, ending with the execution of Maximilian, the insanity of his wife Charlotte, and the emergence of the United States as a world power. This strange episode is at once a central part of American history and a tragic tale of human ambition and cultural misunderstanding.
Jasper Ridley gave up his practice at the bar to become one of the leading historical biographers of England, and his most recent book, Lord Palmerston, was awarded the James Tait Black Prize. He has twice stood for Parliament, and his personal experience of political affairs has given him added insight into the career of the most successful of Nineteenth-century revolutionaries. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.