An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french

Delve deeper into Napoleonic history here in our section on the history of the two empires. Alongside a section for those just starting, there are many articles, images with commentary, close-ups and special dossiers for the serious Napoleonic enthusiast.

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Dossier thématiques : A close-up on: the Mexican campaign, 1862-1867
In pictures : The crossing of the bridge at Arcole - Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile
Bibliographies : The Mexican campaign, 1862-1867


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Texts and articles on the history of the First and Second Empires. Many more articles are available on the French side of the site, so dust of your dictionaries and take the plunge!

For further details on this section, contact us here.


"Waterloo" in "The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte" by William Lodewyck Van-Ess

This monumental biography in English, four-fifths of which were published before 1813, is one of the earliest attempts to give an ‘impartial' account of Napoleon's life. The author claimed in the “Advertisement” to the 1808 third edition (by which implying that the first edition was published in late 1806) notes “The Biographer […] has sedulously avoided attributing any action to a wrong motive, and been careful neither improperly to approve, no unjustly to condemn.” Unknown, Willem Van Ess was probably of Dutch origin and “his situation in life […] afforded him the means of observation without enrolling him either among the flatterers or enemies of Buonaparté.” (Ibid.) His account of Waterloo (published in 1823, vol. 8, part 2, pp. 913-922) is therefore very interesting (and stands out amongst early narratives in English) because of its largely unpartisan nature. (Peter Hicks)      


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