French Kings and Emperors

Ref: C3742844

In this course we will look at the lives of the French monarchs, both kings and emperors and their consorts. We will consider the early Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties. The first king of the house of Capet, Hugh Capet, was elected King of France in June 987 and his successors ruled almost continuously as Kings of France until 1848. In addition, the House of Bonaparte was to produce two French Emperors, Napoleon I (1804-1814, 1815) and Napoleon III (1852-1870). The Capetians and the succeeding dynasties of Valois, Valois-Orleans, the Bourbons and the imperial dynasty of the House of Bonaparte produced some extraordinary figures often influencing British history and, in the case of kings such as Louis XIV and of Emperor Napoleon I, dominating the whole of Europe.

Course aim

The aim of this course is to provide learners with knowledge of the French monarchs, both kings and emperors, and their consorts.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • List the French Royal and Imperial Dynasties.
  • List the principal French monarchs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the lives of the principal French monarchs.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the links between the French and the British royal dynasties.
  • Describe the end of the French monarchy.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Notepad and pen. No additional expenses

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • I hope to run further royal history courses for Liphook WEA.

Download full course information sheet

French Kings and Emperors

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This course is not available for online enrolment.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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