Author’s Latest Historical Book Marks 150th Anniversary of Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico

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The Board of Trustees of the Museum of South Texas History is pleased to announce that the next FRIENDS of MOSTHistory event will be held at 6 p.m. on May 1, 2014. During this special evening, co-hosted by Jim and Frances McAllen, FRIENDS will enjoy a presentation of “Maximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Last Empire in Mexico” by award-winning author Mary Margaret McAllen and published by Trinity University Press. A wine reception and a sneak preview of a collection of rare artifacts from the Second Mexican Empire will follow. FRIENDS will be able to meet the author during a book signing where copies of “Maximilian and Carlota” will be available for purchase in the Museum Store.

In this new telling of the Second Mexican Empire and Louis Napoleon’s installation of Maximilian von Habsburg and his wife, Carlota of Belgium, as the emperor and empress of Mexico, “Maximilian and Carlota” brings the dramatic and tragic story of a six-year siege to life. The publication of “Maximilian and Carlota” coincides with the 150th anniversary of Maximilian’s installation as emperor of Mexico by Napoleon III on April 10, 1864. France saw the American Civil War as an opportunity to seize territory in Mexico and made an all-out bid to annihilate Benito Juárez’s regime and claim Mexico, and thus to gain a foothold in North America. “Maximilian and Carlota” details Napoleon’s intrepid scheme to install Maximilian as emperor. In 1867, with aid from the United States, the effort ended in disaster for France and for Maximilian and Carlota. This disastrous story is largely unknown in the history of the Americas, and McAllen brings the cultural and ideological clashes of the era to life. In conjunction with the book presentation, attendees will also be the first to view rare artifacts from both a private collection and the museum’s collection before they are put on public display through May 11.

To attend An Evening with FRIENDS featuring historical author McAllen, FRIENDS should make their reservation by calling MOSTHistory at +1-956-383-6911 or emailing by April 28, 2014. For those that are not currently a FRIEND of MOSTHistory, they may join or renew their FRIENDship at the same time and take advantage of just one of many benefits. When making your reservation, ask about ordering your personally autographed advance book copy. Those unable to attend may also order personally autographed advance book copies, which will be available for pick up after May 1, 2014. The purchase price of “Maximilian and Carlota” is $29.95 plus tax, and FRIENDS save 10%.

Mary Margaret McAllen (photo courtesy of Liliana Story)

Mary Margaret McAllen
(photo courtesy of Liliana Story)

About Mary Margaret McAllen
M. M. McAllen writes about the history of the Southwest and Mexico. Her other books include “I Would Rather Sleep in Texas: A History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the People of the Santa Anita Land Grant,” depicting the blending cultures against the backdrop of the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, and border upheavals; and “A Brave Boy and a Good Soldier: John C. C. Hill and the Texas Expedition to Mier,” the 1842 biography of thirteen-year-old Texan John C. C. Hill, captured in battle and adopted by Antonio López de Santa Anna. McAllen regularly provides information for television documentaries filmed by BBC, PBS, and local and public stations in Texas, and she has written numerous articles for magazines and journals. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Lisa K. Loebl
Marketing & Public Relations Officer