There is an interesting comment on page 635 of John Elting’s Swords Around a Throne regarding the lengths the Bourbons were willing to go in order to change or delete the history of the Revolution, Consulate, and Empire.
‘Louis [XVIII] also insisted that he was now in the nineteenth year of his lawful reign because, despite the lack of formal coronation, he had naturally become King of France the moment the equally uncrowned boy Louis XVII was reported dead. School books were ordered rewritten to establish such facts and to expound to all Frenchmen the blessings of ‘the salutary yoke of legitimate authority.’ A certain Father Lorriquet produced an official history of France that told-among other marvelous matters-how a certain Marquis de Bonaparte had won great victories in Italy by carefully following the instructions of his liege lord, Louis XVIII! And the Ultra-Royalists wondered why other Frenchmen laughed.’
I decided to follow up on Father Lorriquet and discovered the following in three different publications-all of them interesting:
From Eminent Persons Biographies, Volume III, 128:
‘He had learned the history of France out of that queer book by Father Lorriquet, which makes no mention of the follies, crimes, and tribulations of the French kings, but records only their pomps and victories. They are all crowned saints, including Louis XV. , and the downfall of their power was explained to Henri V. by the circumstance that the aristocracy, who ought to have been the supporters of the Church and of the Throne, had been led away by the heresies of a certain Voltaire’
From A Fatal Passion, 160n:
‘An allusion to the historical books by Father Lorriquet and others, printed under the Restoration for the use of the heir apparent to the throne, in which the fiction of the continuous reign of the Bourbons was kept up, the Republican Era carefully eliminated, and Napoleon himself represented as a mere officer in the service of King Louis XVIII., who had made him Lieutenant-General of the kingdom in consideration of his brilliant achievements.’
From Seven Great Statesmen, by Andrew Dickson White, 336-337:
‘To its earlier stage belongs the “ History of France for the Use of Youth, with maps, A . M . D . G .," published to uphold the French Bourbons, in 1820 and 1821, by the Jesuit Father Loriquet. Father Loriquet' s effort had been simply to efface all knowledge of the Napoleonic Empire from the French mind, and his history, therefore, made Louis XVII the immediate successor of Louis XVI, and Louis XVIII the immediate successor of Louis XVII, virtually leaving out Napoleon as ruler, mentioning him as little as possible and always under the name “ Bonaparte.” Exquisitely naïve, also, was this Jesuit historian 's at- tempt to discredit “ Bonaparte” by falsified history. Perhaps of all the innumerable Jesuit attempts to manufacture history to suit ecclesiastical purposes, the most comical is the account given by Father Loriquet of the Battle of Waterloo . In the crisis of the battle, which the world knows by heart, he represents the Old Guard as a mass of madmen, firing upon one another while the British look upon them with horror.’
What is noteworthy, despite Bourbon efforts to erase the changes in France wrought by Revolution, war, Consulate and Imperial reforms, including the vicious White Terror that followed Waterloo, is that fifteen years of restored Bourbon rule was unable to either ‘turn back the clock’ to 1789 or to erase the solid social and political reforms of the Consulate and Empire.
“Given in the Tuileries château on March 6, 1815, the twentieth year our rein. Signed: Louis” Quoted in Appendix I to David Markham’s “The Road to St Helena” If like Louis you regarded the revolution as illegal and any abdication as under duress therefore your brother and nephew as regicides then everyone who came after is an usurper. Like the governments of the Free French not recognising the authority of Vichy or the Estonians regarding conflict in the 20th century as lasting more than seven decades and not ending until 1991. It’s a matter of perspective. There is some modern legal precedent with the current Russian state taking up the mantle of it’s imperialist inheritance as if the Soviets never existed. I happen to believe it is the role of historians to record and understand the differing perspectives, not to regard any of them as being more ‘correct’ than others. We should study it, not create it. At least there is some logical consistency in Louis’ position, unlike some of the deliberate lies of the bulletins or the ‘victories’ on the Arc de Triumph. To use the plebiscite where the army’s votes were arbitrarily attributed as evidence of democracy I believe much more mendacious, yet I’ve seen it proposed on more than one occasion, for example.
"...at the time of the return of the Bourbons in 1815, when the most eminent historian of the Order of Jesuits, Père Lorriquet, spoke of Bonaparte as a general officer of the legitimate monarchy, who had had some great successes in war, as if his reign was void and had never had an existence, and did not count in the annals of France. Nothing so cynical as this absolute falsification of the past is now possible, but it is perverted with perfidious art.” “The French Republic and the Jesuits”, E. de Pressensé. 1880.