Napoleon Series Archive 2003

Back onto the Memoires

Hi,
The reading of the very end of "How we grow" by Mr HKW, (when you're talking about Chatrian novels as the same level than memeoires, leads me to come back on this interesting subject recently debated, with personnal listings and so on .
Well, as for our today life, we must not look for the blame everywhere .
The fact we (quasi-everybody) lie sometimes does not make us totally irrelevent .
The same for the memoires . We must read them carefully, with the critical eye, but we must not forget that those men, have lived the period as actors or witnesses .
Like Marbot did, many "Memoires wre written to make justice to napoléon and the times . As everybody knows, history is firstly made by winners .
Then we got huge histories like the Scott's 10 volulmes, or the french royalists visions like Gallais or Anquetil among others .
When the times were allowding to write and publish freely, the memoires appeared and were published from 1830's to the late century .
Some are true for the main (but false details or "honnest errors"), others apocryphes like the "memoires of captain Baste" (witch was nevertheless used as true by Oman) .

Marbot (by exemple cause he probably wrote the more passionating ones),
tries to give back the truth of the wittnesses, giving the lie to the exagerations of the two sides, read the Napoléonnic one from Saint-Helene for one side .
The good exemple could be the 1805 campaign on the Danube, when Napoléon made an enormous fault by sending the Mortier 7th corps onto the left (I guess, the other anyway) side of this larg river .
Marbot is enlightning this fault witch was more or less hide by official bulletins . Could we say Marbot is all true ? No ! but listing him close to the novels can't be .
I also like Leujeune (un P'ti gars du sud-ouest, Gascon comme Marbot) .
Gascon's are not all liers like I heard of in a Hollywoodian movie about the times . I also like the memoires of Trelawney witch is given to be true .
I prefer Bourgogne ones than Coignet's . Bourgogne just sound so true about the Russian campaign, it is a must .
So , as for our today life, just watch carefully, nothing is all white or black . If I remember well, I also liked the reading of Barres, de Brack and montesqiuou ones .
There are also the Memoires of ministers and diplomats ....

Anyway, because it's passionating, the "Memorial of St-Helene" is at the bible place, near my rest place, even if, like the bible, It does not contain the scientific truth .
Amicalement,
Gilles

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