MAXWELL Herbert (ed.),
The Creevey Papers: A Selection from the Correspondence and Diaries of the Late Thomas Creevey, M.P.
© Cambridge University Press
From the publishers:
Thomas Creevey (1768–1838) was a Whig politician, diarist and letter-writer, whose papers provide an important source for the history of the early nineteenth century. Although a relatively poor man, he was adept at making friends with important people, and received hospitality and financial help from them. His letters are full of gossip, often indiscreet, giving a vivid picture of the society and politics of the day. They form an interesting comparison with the papers of his contemporaries, J. W. Croker, who as a Tory was in power for most of the period in question, and Charles Greville (both available in this series). Living in Brussels (where he became acquainted with Wellington) at the time of Waterloo, he is perhaps best remembered for his description of life there during Napoleon's 'Hundred Days'. This two-volume work edited by Sir Herbert Maxwell (1845–1937) was first published in 1903.
Place and publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date of publication: 2012
Number of pages: 792
This week’s book(s):
Description: First published by George Philip in 1987, this book is published in 2015 with new material as part of the introduction.
From the publisher's:
"This book offers a fresh view of the most famous man in history. It shows him as a monarch rather than a genius on the battlefield. Although Napoleon arose through the events of the Revolution, he was primarily interested in establishing a dynasty to rank with the Bourbons or the Habsburgs, and in extending his influence throughout Europe.
Philip Mansel's book shows the ruthlessness with which Napoleon sought to achieve these ends. His creation of a court was a calculated act, to enhance his power and prestige. His policy of territorial expansionism was pursued with an arrogance and inhumanity which turned all Europe against him. His brothers and sisters were given thrones and courts in Italy, Spain, Holland and Westphalia, where they alienated most of their subjects.
This account is based on the hitherto unpublished papers of several of Napoleon's courtiers. This contemporary material provides fascinating insights into the careers and characters of those closest to the Emperor, including Duroc, the Emperor's only friend, his second wife, the Empress Marie Louise, Fontaine, his architect, who helped spread the Empire style throughout Europe, and his brother Joseph, one of the few people who had the courage to tell Napoleon when he was wrong.
The Eagle in Splendour shows that personal genius is not enough to establish a monarchy. The heart of the Napoleonic court was a void, because the Emperor was not loved and his regime lacked credibility. The Emperor's domination of Europe was an illusion, killed, like so many of his soldiers, in the Russian snow. As Malraux said to De Gaulle, Napoleon had ‘a very great mind and a rather small soul'."
Place and publisher: London, I.B.Tauris
Date of publication: 2015
Number of pages: 256
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