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The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte Vol. I. (of IV.)   By: (1850-1928)

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First Page:

[Transcriber's note: Obvious printer's errors have been corrected, all other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has been maintained.]

[Illustration: Napoleon Bonaparte in 1785, aged sixteen. From sketch made by a comrade; formerly in the Musée des Souverains, now in the Louvre.]



WILLIAM MILLIGAN SLOANE PH.D., L.H.D., LL.D. Professor of History in Columbia University

Revised and Enlarged With Portraits


[Illustration: Editor's arm.]


Copyright, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1910 BY THE CENTURY CO.

Published, October, 1910


This life of Napoleon was first published in 1896 as a book: for the years 1895 96 it ran as a serial in the pages of the Century Magazine. Judging from the sales, it has been read by many tens if not hundreds of thousands of readers; and it has been extensively noticed in the critical journals of both worlds. Throughout these fourteen years the demand has been very large and steady, considering the size and cost of the volumes. Both publishers and author have determined therefore that a library edition was desired by the public, and in that confidence the book has been partly rewritten and entirely remade.

In the main it is the same book as that which has passed through so many editions. But in some respects it has been amplified. The portion relating to the period of youth has been somewhat expanded, the personalities of those nearest to Napoleon have been in some cases more broadly sketched, new chapters have been added to the treatment of the Continental system, the Louisiana Purchase, and the St. Helena epoch. In all the text has been lengthened about one tenth.

Under the compulsion of physical dimensions the author has minimized the number of authorities and foot notes. There is really very little controversial matter regarding Napoleon which is not a matter of opinion: the evidence has been so carefully sifted that substantial agreement as to fact has been reached. Accordingly there have been introduced at the opening of chapters or divisions short lists of good references for those who desire to extend their reading: experts know their own way. It is an interesting fact which throws great light on the slight value of foot notes that while I have had extensive correspondence with my fellow workers, there has come to me in all these years but a single request for the source of two statements, and one demand for the evidence upon which certain opinions were based.

The former editions were duplicate books, a text by me and a commentary of exquisite illustrations by other hands. The divergence was very confusing to serious minds; in this edition there can be no similar perplexity since the illustrations have been confined to portraits.

In putting these volumes through the press, in the preparation of the reference lists for volumes three and four, and in the rearrangement of the bibliography I have had the assistance of Dr. G. A. Hubbell to whom my obligation is hereby acknowledged.

William M. SLOANE.

New York, September 1, 1910 .


In the closing years of the eighteenth century European society began its effort to get rid of benevolent despotism, so called, and to secure its liberties under forms of constitutional government. The struggle began in France, and spread over the more important lands of continental Europe; its influence was strongly felt in England, and even in the United States... Continue reading book >>

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