Napoleon: A Biographical Companion

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Napoleon - Military Leader - Mini Bio - BIO

Is it worth the time it will take to read this long a book? Omar Ali Yes. It is an easy read.

And well worth it. See 2 questions about Napoleon….

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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. View all 9 comments. Emil Ludwig was a journalist and foreign correspondent who definitely got around. He interviewed several substantial political figures of his time, among them Stalin, Mussolini, Ataturk and Czechoslovakia's Masaryk.

Amid the whirlwind to-and-fro of his life he'd sit down every so often to hammer out a door-stopping biography on a historical personality Emil Ludwig was a journalist and foreign correspondent who definitely got around. Amid the whirlwind to-and-fro of his life he'd sit down every so often to hammer out a door-stopping biography on a historical personality of note - Bismarck, Goethe, Lincoln or Jesus, for example.

These works had the distinctive twist of combining history with psychological analysis.

His intent, as he conveys it in the afterword of this volume, was: "To examine this man's inner life; to explain his resolves and his refrainings, his deeds and his sufferings, his fancies and his calculations, as issuing from the moods of his heart - the disclosure of this great chain of affects, was at once the means and the end of the portrayal. The edition I have here is eighty-seven years old, and looks it.

This is one of the souvenirs of the farewell tour I took some time ago, when it became heartbreakingly obvious to me that several of the major used-book dealers in Southern California were swiftly going under.


Prices had been slashed, negotiations could be made; I am a locust in Egypt under such catastrophic circumstance. My book appears to have been a resident of Los Angeles since its original purchase, the initial owner being kind enough to ink his name and address inside the front cover. Hollywood, just a couple of blocks from Paramount Studios, and that in its heyday. He also annotated, lurchingly, in a No. I find it endearing that his last mark sits on Page I don't blame him.

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What surprises me, though, is that he left at the very center of the passage I thought best and most worthy of the strain. Napoleon is in a bit of a pickle. He's an emperor now and he feels he must have an heir. Clearly Josephine is not going to give him one. Still, she is a companion to him and a woman for whom he holds a deep sentimental regard. He has said, more than once, that it's unfair to have her suffer just because he's become more important than either one of them might have imagined when they married. He has dithered over pulling this trigger for years, yet it must be done.

He must have a son. How best to proceed? He summons his brother Lucien from exile in Rome.

ISBN 13: 9781576071915

Lucien is the one sibling Bonaparte refused to reward or promote, probably because the man had his own ambitions and simply wasn't malleable enough. Lucien would very much like to get back into Napoleon's good graces, and so he comes. This is a meeting of significant familial moment, and both men know it. They're down to business in short order.

The Emperor insists it's time for Lucien to divorce his wife. He tries to play it off as if this is the obstacle that stands between them; that his brother married a woman not of Napoleon's choosing. Lucien balks. He's fond of his wife and loves his children. But the implication is clear. This is the sacrifice that must be made to re-establish fraternal footing. However, Lucien is adamant - so adamant, in fact, that the Emperor shifts gears and tries to bribe him. When this doesn't work, he adopts his favorite form of magnanimous wheedling.

Come, come, Lucien, this is not such a big thing! You have resistance?

Napoleon: A Biographical Companion - ABC-CLIO

I can understand this. But you should know our brother Joseph will be divorcing his wife as well! Joseph and you will both divorce your wives! We will all three get divorces, and then marry again, all of us, the very same day! Then, suddenly: "But why have you become so serious? One might think you a sage of classical antiquity! You must stay with me for three days. I'll have a bed made ready for you in the next room to mine! You rarely see it in Napoleon, yet it appears in these ten pages Ludwig takes from Lucien's account of the meeting.

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And that, to me, is gold in the field of Bonaparte reportage. It's so horrifically amusing that I simply don't doubt its accuracy. I've known men like this, men who try to hide their less-than-savory actions by recruiting others to the self-same sin. It rings absolutely true. The book contains an impressive amount of first-person account and quotation; Ludwig chooses liberally, and objectively, with no regard to how it lengthens the work.

And the work is quite long, the labor made almost unendurable by the author's penchant for psychological soliloquy. Lots of florid Freudianism to plow through here. Yet you can tell why it hovers so determinedly at the edge of the canon. Napoleon comes to life many times, and in myriad authentic aspects, during the course of this tale. View all 5 comments. Feb 16, Arghya Dutta rated it did not like it Shelves: unfinished , biography. Let me keep it short, and pithy; as they say. I don't like this book for two reasons: 1 No references!

Flare in Napoleon's eyes or a slight indignation of his mother: all surmised from some unknown source. And 2 The writer goes on doing psycho-analysis of Napoleon for no apparent reason.

Not for me. View all 6 comments. Desconozco si las ediciones posteriores dejaron el escrito intacto o agregan notas, yo cuento con la sexta. View all 3 comments. Until this book, i have no idea about Napoleon.