Chasseur Barres - The experiences of a French Infantryman of the Imperial Guard at Austerlitz, Jena, Eylau, Friedland, in the Peninsular, Lutzen, ... and Hanau during the Napoleonic Wars.
Description: From the publishers:
Chasseur Barres is a classic memoir of a French soldier of Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Barres enlists in the 'skirmishers' of the Guard and dons the distinctive (and often despised) bearskin of his corps. From that point he embarks on a life of perpetual hard soldiering which takes him to most of the campaign theatres and many of the battlefields of the Napoleonic Age in the company of his Emperor. Barres' first hand accounts of the battlefield, campaigning, Napoleon and the principal characters of the age make riveting reading. Those devoted to the history of these dynamic times will find much to interest and satisfy within the pages of this book.
Place and publisher: Leonaur
Date of publication: 2006
Number of pages: 308
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This account is based on the hitherto unpublished papers of several of Napoleon's courtiers.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
See all books highlighted as This month's book