Napoleon Series Archive 2016

Re: Treason and Rebellion are Punishable by Death

Broers is fair and balanced in his approach, and Esdaile certainly tries to be. I have their work in my library. I also think taking a look at others, such as Cronin, Col Elting, Englund, Wolloch, Connelly, Tulard, Thierry Lentz, Holtman, etc. should all be read and a balanced viewpoint of the period and Napoleon can be developed.

I have found the following comments quite helpful in studying the period and Napoleon and have used it as a guide in my study of the period:

From The Superstrategists by John Elting, 1985, page 139:

ĎBy an odd twist of fate, it is only recently that we have been able to actually Ďknowí the living Napoleon. His personal life and character, his political aims and methods, even aspects of his military career and strategy, have been mishandled by most historians-often intentionally, frequently from the difficulty of properly evaluating the available source material, sometimes out of built-in national biasÖí

ĎEven fair-minded historians found their available sources full of booby traps. While he lived, enemy propaganda presented Napoleon as a monster who relished murder, treachery, theft, incest, blasphemy, and any other possible evil. The counterblasts of his supporters sometimes went to almost equal extremes in lauding him. The most misleading truth twisting, however, came from people who had served him to their profit, but-in hopes of making an equally profitable peace with the Bourbons who supplanted him after Waterloo-turned to defaming him. Prominent among them were former close associates of Napoleon such as Louis Antoine de Bourrienne, the Duchess of Abrantes, Claire de Remusat, and Marshal Auguste Marmont. The memoirs such people wrote, or had ghostwritten, were accepted as indispensable reference works by too many writers, though most of them are worthless and even the better ones contain much untrustworthy material. Only during the last few decades have English-language historians really managed an accurate recreation of Napoleon as an individual human being, as well as a ruler and statesman.í

That being said, I have found many references, both like those mentioned in the quotation above, and others such as Thiers, Schomm, Dwyer, Fuller, Talleyrand, and others either mendacious, worthless, or both. I believe that you have to be careful in the reference material you choose to both believe and use.

Messages In This Thread

Sir Sidney Smith
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Allís Well, That Ends Well.
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Oh, the injustice
Historical Inquiry
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Re: Treason and Rebellion are Punishable by Death *LINK*
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Russian censorship under Alexandre Ier *LINK*
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Dynasties.
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Source for the Lefebvre anecdote
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Thanks, another slight variation
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Et Tu Marshal?
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Re... worth a look?
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Caulaincourt: a reliable source now?
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Re: Official sanction of local leaders
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