My Latest Book

My book, Empress Eugénie and the Arts: Politics and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century was awarded the Fondation Napoléon's Prix du livre non francophone 2011. I am preparing an augmented French edition, Eugénie et les Arts, that will be published by Editions Mare et Martin.

Reviewers write:

"In this pioneering study, Alison McQueen examines an important and yet largely overlooked phenomenon: the engagement with the visual arts of Empress Eugénie." Click here for the full review in

"McQueen has taken the subject and shaken it hard and interestingly, to reveal new truths about Empress Eugénie." Click here for the full review in Cassone.

"This study by McQueen will overturn longstanding perceptions of Eugénie. McQueen harnesses an impressive array of primary and secondary sources to correct basic facts and complicate received ideas in the literature on Eugénie." Click here for the full review in Choice.

"[A] fascinating account of how the public persona of empress Eugénie was constructed through artworks of all kinds...presents an enormous wealth of surprising facts and insights about Eugénie's life and activities...McQueen's study enriches our understanding of a woman of power and independence during the nineteenth century." Click here for the full review in Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide.

"Eugénie emerges as a leader for women’s social justice and a thoughtful patron of the arts...McQueen’s success in linking the patronage of [this empress] to the political and artistic currents of their respective ages demonstrates the folly in divorcing such figures from our study of avant-garde artwork in early modern and modern eras." Click here for the full review in Woman's Art Journal

"McQueen has produced a valuable, readable, jargon-free text that will be appreciated by scholars of French history, art history, women's studies and many other fields." Click here for the full review in H-France review.

"McQueen has undertaken ambitious investigation of primary sources and archival information...she opens new perspectives regarding the profound symbiosis of visual culture and the political under the Second Empire." Click here for the full review in French Studies.