Sophie lived through 85 of the most turbulent years in French history–a period that eventually saw revolutions break out all over continental Europe. She witnessed the end of the Ancien Régime; the French Revolution; the rise and demise of Napoleon; the Bourbon Restoration; the Revolution of 1830; the Revolution of 1848; the July Monarchy; the Second Republic; and finally, the Third Empire of Napoleon III. Her work was also dramatically impacted by the rise of the Italian nation state.
The Bourbon and Orléans Kings: Images and information about the French kings in power during Sophie’s lifetime (mentioned throughout the novel)
Napoleon Bonaparte: Information about Napoleon, his wife Joséphine, her children Eugène and Hortense de Beauharnais, and their descendants (mentioned throughout the novel)
The Italian Risorgimento: Information about Giuseppe Garibaldi and others who struggled to unify the country of Italy during Sophie’s lifetime (Parts 8 through 12)