History France Andrew Roberts Napoleon: A Life

ISBN 13 : 9780670025329

Napoleon: A Life

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9780670025329: Napoleon: A Life

The definitive biography of the great soldier-statesman by the "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Storm of War"--winner of the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoleon 2014 Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo: his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far more than a military genius and astute leader of men. Like George Washington and his own hero Julius Caesar, he was one of the greatest soldier-statesmen of all times. Andrew Roberts's "Napoleon "is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon's thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine. Like Churchill, he understood the strategic importance of telling his own story, and his memoirs, dictated from exile on St. Helena, became the single bestselling book of the nineteenth century. An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to fifty-three of Napoleon's sixty battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Here at last is a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by one of our foremost historians.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

Extrait :

List of Illustrations

Illustrations in the Text

1 Jacques-Louis David, sketches of Napoleon, 1797. Musee d’Art et d’Histoire, Palais Masséna, Nice. Photograph: Giraudon / Bridgeman Images

2 Baron Dominique Vivant-Denon, title page of ‘The Description of Egypt’, 1809. Photograph: akg-images / Pietro Baguzzi

3 Charles-Joseph Minard, Graph to illustrate the successive losses in men of the French army in the Russian Campaign of 1812–13, pub. 1869. Photograph: © Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris

4 Sèvres Manufactory after Antoine Denis Chaudet, Bust of Emperor Napoleon I, 1806. Bibliothèque Marmottan, Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris. Photograph: Giraudon / Bridgeman Images

Colour Plates

1 Andrea Appiani the Elder, Napoleon I Bonaparte, 1796. Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan. Photograph: De Agostini Picture Library / © Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana–Milano / Bridgeman Images

2 Léonard-Alexis Daligé de Fontenay, The Casa Bonaparte in Ajaccio, 1849. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau) / Jean Schormans

3 Caricature of Paoli and Bonaparte, from the atlas of a student named Vagoudy, c. 1785. Photograph: Archives Nationales, Paris

4 Louis-François Lejeune, The Battle of Lodi, c. 1804. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet / Gérard Blot

5 Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Napoleon on the Bridge at Arcole, 1796. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot

6 Louis-François Lejeune, The Battle of the Pyramids, 1806. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot

7 Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Napoleon visiting the wounded at Jaffa, 1804 (detail). Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Thierry Le Mage

8 I. Helman and J. Duplessi-Bertaux after Charles Monnet, The Coup d’état of 18 Brumaire 1799, published 1800. Photograph © Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris

9 François-Xavier Fabre, portrait of Lucien Bonaparte. Photograph: The Art Archive / Napoleonic Museum Rome / Gianni Dagli Orti

10 Jean-Baptiste Wicar, portrait of Joseph Bonaparte, 1808. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Fontainebleau) / Gérard Blot

11 Baron François Gérard, portrait of Marie-Laetitia Ramolino (detail), 1803. Photograph © RMN-Grand Palais (musée des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau) / Daniel Arnaudet / Jean Schormans

12 Salomon-Guillaume Counis, portrait of Marie-Anne Elisa Bonaparte, 1813. Photograph © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Gérard Blot

13 Charles Howard Hodges, portrait of Louis Bonaparte (detail), 1809. Photograph: © Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

14 Baron François Gérard, portrait of Hortense de Beauharnais. Private collection. Photograph: Bridgeman Images

15 Robert Lefèvre, portrait of Pauline Bonaparte, 1806. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Droits réservés

16 Baron François Gérard, portrait of Caroline Murat, 1800s. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Palais Fesch, Ajaccio. Photograph © RMN-Grand Palais / Gérard Blot

17 François Kinson, portrait of Jérôme Bonaparte and his wife Catarina of Württemberg. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Franck Raux

18 Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, portrait of the Empress Josephine, c. 1809. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau) / Daniel Arnaudet / Gérard Blot

19 Andrea Appiani the Elder, portrait of Eugène de Beauharnais, 1810. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau) / Daniel Arnaudet / Jean Schormans

20 Nécessaire of the Empress Josephine, made by Félix Remond. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau) / Gérard Blot

21 Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, Napoleon as First Consul. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais / Gérard Blot

22 French School, Allegory of the Concordat, 1802. Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. Photograph: Bridgeman Images

23 Louis Charon after Poisson, Costume of a Member of the Institut de France, c. 1802–10. Private collection. Photograph: Archives Charmet / Bridgeman Images

24 Jean-Baptiste Greuze, portrait of Jean-Jacques de Cambacérès. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais / Agence Bulloz

25 Andrea Appiani the Elder, Louis-Charles-Antoine Desaix reading the order of General Bonaparte to two Egyptians. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot

26 Baron François Gérard, portrait of Jean Lannes. Private collection. Photograph: Giraudon / Bridgeman Images

27 Henri-François Riesener (after), portrait of Jean-Baptiste Bessières, 1805. Photograph © Paris–Musée de l’Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image musée de l’Armée

28 Anne-Louis Girodet De Roussy-Trioson, portrait of Géraud Christophe Michel Duroc. Musée Bonnat, Bayonne. Photograph © RMN-Grand Palais / René-Gabriel Ojéda

29 French School, caricature of William Pitt the Younger and King George III observing the French squadron, 1803. Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photograph: Giraudon / Bridgeman Images

30 Copy by Mudie of a Napoleonic medal celebrating the planned invasion of Britain, 1804. Photograph © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

31 Jean-Baptiste Debret, The First Distribution of the Cross of the Légion d’Honneur, 14 July 1804, 1812. Photograph © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Droits réservés

32 Jacques-Louis David, study of Napoleon crowning himself Emperor, c. 1804–7. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Thierry Le Mage

33 Baron François Gérard, The Battle of Austerlitz, 2 December 1805, 1808. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Droits réservés

34 Pierre-Michel Alix after Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, portrait of Marshal Louis-Alexandre Berthier, 1798. Photograph © Paris–Musée de l’Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Pascal Segrette

35 Flavie Renault after Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, portrait of Marshal André Masséna, 1834. Photograph: © Paris–Musée de l’Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image musée de l’Armée

36 Baron François Gérard, portrait of Marshal Michel Ney, c. 1805. Photograph: © Christie’s Images

37 Louis Henri de Rudder, portrait of Marshal Jean-de-Dieu Soult (detail). Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Franck Raux

38 Tito Marzocchi de Belluchi, portrait of Marshal Louis-Nicolas Davout (detail), 1852. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot

39 Raymond-Quinsac Monvoison, portrait of Nicolas-Charles Oudinot as he appeared in 1792. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet / Jean Schormans

40 Robert Lefèvre, portrait of Marshal Charles-Pierre-François Augereau (detail). Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Droits réservés

41 Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, portrait of Joachim Murat (detail). Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Jean-Gilles Berizzi

42 Edme Bovinet after Jacques-François Swebach, The Battle of Jena, 14 October 1806. Photograph: JoJan

43 George Dawe, portrait of Field Marshal Prince Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, c. 1816. The Wellington Museum, Apsley House, London. Photograph: Bridgeman Images

44 W. Herbig, portrait of King Frederick William III of Prussia (detail). The Wellington Museum, Apsley House, London. Photograph: Bridgeman Images

45 Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon I in Imperial Costume, 1805. Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais / Philipp Bernard

46 Jean-Antoine-Siméon Fort, The Battle of Eylau, 8 February 1807. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Droits réservés

47 Thomas Naudet, The Battle of Friedland, 1807, c. 1807–12. Photograph: Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library, Providence, RI

48 Adolphe Roehn, The Meeting of Napoleon I and Tsar Alexander I at Tilsit, 25 June 1807. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Franck Raux

49 Baron François Gérard, portrait of Tsar Alexander I, c. 1814. Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne. Photograph: akg-images / André Held

50 Baron François Gérard, portrait of Désirée Clary. Photograph: Alexis Daflos. The Royal Court, Sweden

51 Jean-Baptiste Isabey, portrait of Pauline Fourès. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Droits réservés

52 Ferdinando Quaglia, portrait of Giuseppina Grassini. Photograph: De Agostini Picture Library / A. Dagli Orti / Bridgeman Images

53 Pierre-Auguste Vafflard, portrait of Marguerite Weimer (Mademoiselle Georges), 1805. Photograph © Collections Comédie-Française / P. Lorette

54 Jean-Baptiste Isabey, portrait of Countess Maria Walewska. Collection of the Patrimoine Comte Colonna-Walewski. Photograph Fine Art Images / Heritage Images / Scala, Florence

55 Mayer & Pierson, Photograph of Comte Alexander Colonna-Walewski. Photograph: © Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt

56 Pierre-Paul Prud’hon (attr.), Portrait of a Lady said to be Éléonore Denuelle de la Plaigne with her son, 1814. Private collection. Photograph © Christie’s Images / Bridgeman Images

57 Jean-Baptiste Isabey, portrait of Anne Hippolyte Boutet Salvetat (Mademoiselle Mars), 1819. Photograph: © By kind permission of the Trustees of the Wallace Collection, London.

58 Albine de Montholon. Photograph: Roger-Viollet / Topfoto

59 Sèvres Manufactory, spindle vase owned by Madame Mère, depicting Napoleon crossing the Alps at the Great St Bernard pass, 1811. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Droits réservés

60 François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter, Bernard Poyet and Agustin-François-André Picot, the imperial throne of Napoleon for sittings of the Legislative Body, 1805. Photograph: © Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / Jean Tholance. Tous droits réservés

61 Henri Auguste, the Emperor’s Nef, 1804. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Fontainebleau) / Jean-Pierre Lagiewski

62 French School, The Construction of the Vendôme Column, c. 1803–10. Musée National du Château de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison. Photograph: Giraudon / Bridgeman Images

63 Henri Courvoisier-Voisin, The Palais de la Bourse, c. 1826. Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musée Carnavalet, Paris. Photograph: Giraudon / Bridgeman Images

64 Claude François de Méneval. Photograph: Mary Evans Picture Library / Epic

65 Lemercier, portrait of Baron Agathon-Jean-François Fain. Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris. Photograph: Roger-Viollet / Topfoto

66 Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, A heroic feat! With dead men!, illustration from The Disasters of War, pub. 1863. Photograph: Index / Bridgeman Images

67 Adolphe Roehn, Bivouac of Napoleon on the battlefield at Wagram during the night of 56 July 1809 (detail). Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Gérard Blot

68 Baron Antoine-Jean Gros, The Meeting of Napoleon and Francis II after the Battle of Austerlitz, 4 December 1805 (detail). Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Versailles) / Daniel Arnaudet

69 Sir Thomas Lawrence, portrait of Prince Clemens Metternich (detail), 1815. Royal Collection Trust © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2014. Photograph: Bridgeman Images

70 Sir Thomas Lawrence, portrait of Carl Philip, Prince Schwarzenberg, 1819. The Royal Collection © 2014 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Photograph: Bridgeman Images

71 Baron François Gérard, portrait of the Empress Marie Louise, 1810. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

72 Baron François Gérard, portrait of the King of Rome. Photograph: © RMN-Grand Palais (Château de Fontainebleau) / Daniel Arnaudet / Jean Schormans

73 Josef Lanzedelli the Elder, portrait of Adam Albert von Neipperg (detail), c. 1810. Photograph: © Stadtverwaltung, Schwaigern

74 Antoine Charles Horace Vernet after Étienne-Alexandre Bardin, Uniforms of a line infantryman and second flagbearer, illustration from the Bardin Regulations. Photograph: © Paris–Musée de l’Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Pascal Segrette

75 Christian Johann Oldendorp, View of the Kremlin during the Burning of Moscow, September 1812. Photograph: De Agostini Picture Library / M. Seemuller / Bridgeman Images

76 Faber du Faur, On the Road, Not Far From Pneva, 8 November 1812, illustration from Blätter aus meinem Portefeuille, im Laufe des Fel, c. 1830s. Photograph: Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library, Providence, RI

77 V. Adam (after), The Berezina Passage. Brown University Library, Providence, RI. Photograph: Bridgeman Images

78 Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, portrait of Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord (detail), 1817. Purchase, Mrs Charles Wrightsman Gift, in memory of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, 1994. Accession Number: 1994.190. © The Metropolitan Museum of ...

Revue de presse :

Praise for Napoleon

“An epically scaled new biography . . . Roberts brilliantly conveys the sheer energy and presence of Napoleon the organizational and military whirlwind who, through crisp and incessant questioning, sized up people and problems and got things done. . . . His dynamism shines in Roberts’s set-piece chapters on major battles like Austerlitz, Jena, and Marengo, turning visionary military maneuvers into politically potent moments.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“Roberts is a masterly storyteller. . . . I would recommend his book to anyone seeking an accessible chronicle, rich in anecdote, of Napoleon’s fantastic story.”
—Max Hastings, The Wall Street Journal

“With his customary flair and keen historical eye, Andrew Roberts has delivered the goods again. This is the best single one-volume biography of Napoleon in English for the last four decades. A tour de force that belongs on every history lovers bookshelf!”
—Jay Winik, bestselling author of The Great Upheaval and April 1865

“Is another long life of Napoleon really necessary? On three counts, the answer given by Andrew Roberts’s impressive book is an emphatic yes. The most important is that this is the first single-volume general biography to make full use of the treasure trove of Napoleon’s 33,000-odd letters, which began being published in Paris only in 2004. Second, Roberts, who has previously written on Napoleon and Wellington, is a masterly analyst of the French emperor’s many battles. Third, his book is beautifully written and a pleasure to read.”
—The Economist

“Napoleon remade France and much of Europe in his fifteen years in power and proved himself one of history’s greatest military commanders. Roberts’s access to Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, only recently available, allowed him to create a fully human portrait of this larger-than-life figure.”
The Wall Street Journal, Holiday Gift Guide: Leadership

“A huge, rich, deep, witty, humane and unapologetically admiring biography that is a pleasure to read. The Napoleon painted here is a whirlwind of a man—not only a vigorous and supremely confident commander, but an astonishingly busy governor, correspondent and lover, too. . . . To dive into Roberts’s new book is to understand—indeed, to feel—why this peculiarly brilliant Corsican managed for so long to dazzle the world.”
—Dan Jones, The Telegraph

“Entertaining, even addictive . . . Roberts writes with great vigor, style, and fluency.”
Sunday Times (London)

“Magnificent . . . Roberts’s fine book encompasses all the evidence to give a brilliant portrait of the man. The book, as it needs to be, is massive, yet the pace is brisk and it’s never overwhelmed by the scholarly research, which was plainly immense.”
Mail on Sunday

“Truly a Napoleonic triumph of a book, elegantly written, epic in scale, novelistic in detail, irresistibly galloping with the momentum of a cavalry charge, as comfortable on the battlefield as in the bedroom. Here, at last, is the full biography.”
—Simon Sebag Montefiore, Evening Standard, Books of the Year

“Roberts not only brings the Napoleon story up to date but, with new evidence from the archives and an original spin on the present, makes a compelling case for why we should all read anew about the little Corsican in the 21st century.”
The Observer (London)

“Magisterial and beautifully written . . . A richly detailed and sure-footed reappraisal of the man, his achievements—and failures—and the extraordinary times in which he lived.”
—Standpoint

“A definitive account that dispels many of the myths that surrounded Napoleon from his lifetime to the present day.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A compelling biography of the preeminent French general that stands apart from the rest, owing to the author’s thoroughness, accuracy, and attention to detail. Roberts relies on his military expertise, Napoleon’s surviving correspondence (33,000 items in all), and exhaustive on-site studies of French battlegrounds. . . . This voluminous work is likely to set the standard for subsequent accounts.”
—Library Journal (starred review)

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