內容簡介 From 1853 to 1870 Eug nie de Montijo was Empress of the French, sharing the Second Empire with her husband Napoleon III. The last woman to reign over France, she personifies the allure glimpsed in Winterhalter's portraits and the music of Jacques Offenbach. It was 'eighteen years of self-indulgence, folly and wild gaiety, of love affairs and unbelievable elegance', a survivor wistfully recalled. 'For a short time, too short a time, it seemed as if we were glittering ghosts from the splendours of the eighteenth century.' In many ways the Second Empire was a final flicker of the ancient regime. This meticulously researched portrait reveals the empress as a nineteenth century fashion icon who possessed an intelligent and politically shrewd mind, whose splendour faded from view along with the Second Empire.