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The Life of Napoleon I (Volume 1 of 2)   By: (1855-1942)

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LONDON: G. BELL & SONS, LIMITED, PORTUGAL STREET, KINGSWAY, W.C. CAMBRIDGE: DEIGHTON, BELL & CO. NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO. BOMBAY: A.H. WHEELER & CO

THE LIFE OF NAPOLEON I

INCLUDING NEW MATERIALS FROM THE BRITISH OFFICIAL RECORDS

BY JOHN HOLLAND ROSE, LITT.D. LATE SCHOLAR OF CHRIST'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE

"Let my son often read and reflect on history: this is the only true philosophy." Napoleon's last Instructions for the King of Rome .

VOL, I

LONDON G. BELL AND SONS, LTD. 1910

POST 8VO EDITION, ILLUSTRATED First Published, December 1901. Second Edition, revised, March 1902. Third Edition, revised, January 1903. Fourth Edition, revised, September 1907. Reprinted, January 1910.

CROWN 8VO EDITION First Published, September 1904. Reprinted, October 1907; July 1910.

DEDICATED TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD ACTON, K.C.V.O., D.C.L., LL.D. REGIUS PROFESSOR OF MODERN HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, IN ADMIRATION OF HIS PROFOUND HISTORICAL LEARNING, AND IN GRATITUDE FOR ADVICE AND HELP GENEROUSLY GIVEN.

PREFACE

An apology seems to be called for from anyone who gives to the world a new Life of Napoleon I. My excuse must be that for many years I have sought to revise the traditional story of his career in the light of facts gleaned from the British Archives and of the many valuable materials that have recently been published by continental historians. To explain my manner of dealing with these sources would require an elaborate critical Introduction; but, as the limits of my space absolutely preclude any such attempt, I can only briefly refer to the most important topics.

To deal with the published sources first, I would name as of chief importance the works of MM. Aulard, Chuquet, Houssaye, Sorel, and Vandal in France; of Herren Beer, Delbrück, Fournier, Lehmann, Oncken, and Wertheimer in Germany and Austria; and of Baron Lumbroso in Italy. I have also profited largely by the scholarly monographs or collections of documents due to the labours of the "Société d'Histoire Contemporaine," the General Staff of the French Army, of MM. Bouvier, Caudrillier, Capitaine "J.G.," Lévy, Madelin, Sagnac, Sciout, Zivy, and others in France; and of Herren Bailleu, Demelitsch, Hansing, Klinkowstrom, Luckwaldt, Ulmann, and others in Germany. Some of the recently published French Memoirs dealing with those times are not devoid of value, though this class of literature is to be used with caution. The new letters of Napoleon published by M. Léon Lecestre and M. Léonce de Brotonne have also opened up fresh vistas into the life of the great man; and the time seems to have come when we may safely revise our judgments on many of its episodes.

But I should not have ventured on this great undertaking, had I not been able to contribute something new to Napoleonic literature. During a study of this period for an earlier work published in the "Cambridge Historical Series," I ascertained the great value of the British records for the years 1795 1815. It is surely discreditable to our historical research that, apart from the fruitful labours of the Navy Records Society, of Messrs. Oscar Browning and Hereford George, and of Mr. Bowman of Toronto, scarcely any English work has appeared that is based on the official records of this period. Yet they are of great interest and value. Our diplomatic agents then had the knack of getting at State secrets in most foreign capitals, even when we were at war with their Governments; and our War Office and Admiralty Records have also yielded me some interesting "finds." M. Lévy, in the preface to his "Napoléon intime" (1893), has well remarked that "the documentary history of the wars of the Empire has not yet been written. To write it accurately, it will be more important thoroughly to know foreign archives than those of France." Those of Russia, Austria, and Prussia have now for the most part been examined; and I think that I may claim to have searched all the important parts of our Foreign Office Archives for the years in question, as well as for part of the St... Continue reading book >>




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