In a new edition of this classic study, Mansel writes that Louis XVIII was ‘naturally European’, and during his twenty-three years as an exile after escaping in 1791 from the revolution in Paris, Louis XVIII ‘consciously Europeanized his cause’. Louis spent the last seven years of this exile in England, narrowly avoiding being ‘conveniently’ dispatched to Edinburgh. He became the ‘most English’ king of France, and enjoyed enormous popular renown in England: as Mansel writes, ‘The English loved the Bourbons with all the hatred they felt for Bonaparte’. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in French or indeed European 19th-century history, since Mansel’s portrait of Louis XVIII and the Restoration of the French monarchy is a model of political biography and an impressively researched history. Unlike his brothers, Louis XVIII not only brought peace, prosperity and a workable constitution to his ‘divided and devastated country’, but he also lived up to his self-styled role as ‘the future pacifier of Europe’. Louis and Wellington were closely associated, and Louis lavished numerous presents on the latter, including a 102-piece dinner service (‘quelques assiettes’) of Sevres china to convince the Englishman ‘that modern china was just as good as china of the Ancien Regime’. All in all, a fascinating read.