A glitering look at political, literary, cloak-and-dagger and romantic Paris in the 1840's, during the monarchy of Louis Philippe de Orleans. The French are attempting to recover the lost territories of Louisiana through a scheme involving Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, who years later (1868) was to become the first President of the Cuban Republic in Arms. As a great admirer of Franklin, Jefferson and Lafayette, Céspedes thwarts these plans, much to the consternation of Francois Guizot, the French Prime Minister. The issues of the day were independence, slavery, the rights of women and voting rights. Some signs of anti-americanism were already evident among French intellectuals, in spite of De Tockeville's Democracy in America.