Napoléon III and Eugénie de Montijo reign in France. It is a time of imperial celebrations.
Industry grows by leaps and bounds and the nobility pretentiously displays its riches. Fortunes are made daily. The new concept of ready-to-wear fashion delights ladies with a profusion of flowers, feathers, ribbons and fake hairpieces.
The public parades along the new avenues opened by Baron Haussmann, revel in the ice creams at Tortoni’s and dine at the Café Anglais.
Public balls are very popular. Thousands abandon themselves to the thrill of enlacing a stranger during a waltz. When the polka is introduced on the scene, it becomes immensely popular.
The period is “polkmania”. Each week, new melodies are composed to dance a quadrille. All of Europe becomes elated with music and dance … waltz, polka, mazurka, polonaise, redowa, quadrilles …