Combining the excitement of a novel with the authenticity of a historical document, this gripping book chronicles a castle's rise from obscurity to international attention during the nineteenth century. It profiles a fictional fortress, La Roche-Pont, for an unusual survey of the evolving art of siege warfare—from Gallic tribes attempting to hold off the might of the Roman empire through medieval feuds, protracted religious conflicts of the seventeenth century, and the Napoleonic and Franco-Prussian Wars.
The noted architect Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814–1879) was in a unique position to write this book. A central figure in France's Gothic Revival, Viollet-le-Duc had a second career in the military that included a prominent role in the defense of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s. With this accessible, well-researched study, he exerted an enduring influence on French military defensive thinking. Subtle and enchanting in its blend of fact and fiction, Annals of a Fortress continues to offer a brilliant evocation of more than 2,000 years of European warfare.