In every single one of the 300 entries in this historical dictionary, the soldier, the head of state, and the private individual shines out. And in this unusual form, Thierry Lentz has distilled forty years at the Emperor’s side to create a veritable biography of Napoleon. Precise details, clear analysis, incisive prose all go to render this book not just an indispensable work tool but also a delight to read. The title draws you in, and once there, you can’t resist reading entry after entry, your imagination is fired, and you come back for more. (Irène Delage)
From the publishers
Napoleon from A to Z, by the best specialist
Thierry Lentz may have written forty or so books on the Consulate and the Empire, but he has never written a biography of Napoleon. This Dictionnaire historique is entirely dedicated to the man, and so is in fact a biography. As such, the book is an original approach to the subject, by one of the best specialists of the “great man” and his time.
The 300 entries were carefully chosen so as to reveal the life story, and the author gives the latest research information on Napoleon, his work, the events of his life, his successes and his failures, the trace he left in today’s France. The subjects run from his birth to his death, even to the return of his body from St Helena in 1840 and the rise of the legend, including: his education, his career, his military campaigns, his government, the great events, conquests, loves, etc., not to mention his political, social and diplomatic ideas.
This dictionary is an update on all you thought you knew about Napoleon, aimed as much at fans as at those who would simply like to know more about the man.
Thierry Lentz is director of the Fondation Napoléon and professor at the Institut Catholique d’Études Supérieures, and he has established himself as one of the leading historians of Napoleon. Of note is his four-volume Nouvelle histoire du Premier Empire, which stands as a milestone in contemporary Napoleonic studies. Perrin has published many of his successful books, namely, Le Congrès de Vienne (2014), Waterloo. 1815 (2015), a biography of Joseph Bonaparte (2016) and, more recently, in 2019, Bonaparte n’est plus! Le monde apprend la mort de Napoléon (juillet-septembre 1821). Thierry Lentz has been the recipient of many prizes, and in 2019 the Académie des sciences Morales et Politiques honoured him for the ensemble of his work.
► Preface by the author (pdf in French).
► An interview with the author (in English)
► Entries by category
Aboukir. Arcole. Austerlitz. Battle. Baylen. Berezina. Eylau. Friedland. Jena and Auerstaedt. La Moskova (Borodino). Leipzig. Marengo. Pyramids. Rivoli. Siege of Toulon. Trafalgar. Wagram. Waterloo (battle). Waterloo (controversies)
Alexander I. Barras. Bernadotte. Berthier. Bertrand. Cambacérès. Caroline Bonaparte. Caulaincourt. Champagny. Charles Bonaparte. Chateaubriand. Clarke. Clary. Davout. Decrès. Duroc. Elisa Bonaparte. Eugène de Beauharnais. Fesch. Fouché. Francis I of Austria. Gaudin. Hortense de Beauharnais. Jerôme Bonaparte. Joseph Bonaparte. Josephine. La Fayette. Las Cases. Lebrun. Letizia Bonaparte. Louis XVIII. Louis Bonaparte. Lowe. Lucien Bonaparte. Maret. Marie-Louise. Metternich. Moreau. Murat. Ney. Paoli. Pauline Bonaparte. Pius VII. Roederer. Roi de Rome. Savary. Sieyès. Soult. Talleyrand.
Assassination attempts. Brumaire. Amnesty of the Emigrés. Cadoudal-Pichegru Conspiracy. Concordat. Consulate. Marengo Crisis. Kidnapping of Senator Clément de Ris. Execution of the Duc d’Enghien. The “machine infernale”. 1802. Peace of Amiens.
Diplomacy and international relations
Foreign affairs. North Africa. United Kingdom. Austria. Campoformio. Confederation of the Rhine. Congress of Vienna. Ottoman Empire. Erfurt. Spain. United States. Northern Europe. Execution the printer Palm. European Geopolitics. Holland. Illyria. Ireland. Italy. French Model. World. Naples. The Napoleonids. Peace of Amiens. “Theft” of works of art. Portugal. Prussia. Poland. Left Bank of the Rhine. Kingdom of Italy. Russia. Holy Roman Empire. Swedish Succession. Continental System. Tilsit. Treaty of Fontainebleau. Treaties of Paris of 1814 and 1815. Treaty of Presburg. Venice. Westphalia.
Economics and finance
Balance of commerce. Banque de France. Private Banks. Beetroot. Billet de Banque. Continental Blockade. Caisses de retraite. Economic climate. Cour des comptes. Public debt. Agricultural economy. Art economy. Public Finances. Franc germinal. Industry. The Négociants réunis. Economic Theories.
Assassination attempts. Abdication of 1814. Abdication of 1815. Adieux de Fontainebleau. The Hundred Days. Champ de Mai. Chevaliers de la Foi. Complot du Nord. Talleyrand-Fouché “Plot”. Malet Conspiracy. Crisis “of 1810”. Deposition. Moscow decree. Napoleon and Josephine’s “divorce”. Elections of 1815. Execution the printer Palm. Elba. Laffrey. Marriage of Napoleon and Marie-Louise. Napoleon II. Négociants réunis. Octroi d’Anvers. Republican and Royalist Opposition. First Restoration. Proclamation of the Empire. Return from Elba. Consecration and coronation. Bayonne Trap. Staps. Tilsit. “Betrayal” of the Marshals. Treaty of Fontainebleau. Walcheren.
The Acte additionnel. Local administration. Public ceremonies. Council of State. Government Councils. Constitution. Constitution of An VIII. Constitution of An X. Constitution of An XII. Corps législatif. The Emperor’s Court and Household. Constitutional Imperial Dignitaries. Elections. Élysée. French Empire. The Employees of the administrations. Imperial Family. Hôtel des Invalides. Justice. Napoleonic Legitimacies. Ministers. Moniteur Universel. Public Order. People. Plebiscites. Police. Postal service. Executive Power. Legislative Power. Prefects. State Prisons. Senate. Sénatus-consulte. Imperial Succession. Suppression of the Tribunat. Imperial Symbols. Regency. Imperial Nobility. National Unity. Official Visits. Consular and Imperial Residences.
Napoleon and Josephine’s “divorce”. Napoleon’s illegitimate children. Imperial Family. Laffrey. Marriage of Napoleon and Marie-Louise. 1802. Napoleon’s Death. Portrait of Napoleon. First night of love. Saint Napoléon. Napoleon’s Health. Suicide. Vendémiaire.
Art of War. Campaign in Germany and Austria (1809). Campaign in Austria (1805). Campaign in Belgium (1815). Campaign in Egypt (1798-1801). Campaign in Spain (1808). Campaign in France (1814). Campaign in Italy (1796-1797). Campaign in Italy (1800). Campaign in Poland (1807). Campaign in Prussia (1806). Campaign in Russia (1812). Campaign in Saxony (1813). Conscription. Dos de Mayo. War in Spain. Hôtel des Invalides. Burning of Moscow. The Imperial Marshals. Massacres and the plague victims in Jaffa. The Pirouette in Boulogne. Victims of the wars.
Ideas and debates
Art and legitimacy. Charlemagne. Military Dictatorship. Jus gentium (Droit des gens) (or International Law). “Total” War. Hitler. The Marseillaise. French Model. National Unity. Returns. Revolution. Victims of the wars.
Youth and Revolution
Aboukir. Arcole. Ajaccio. Campaign in Egypt (1798-1801). Campaign in Italy (1796-1797). Campoformio. Corsica. Dix-Août. Napoleon’s youthful writings. Napoleon’s education. Massacres and the plague victims in Jaffa. Napoleon’s Birth. Paoli. First night of love. Rivoli. Revolution. Siege of Toulon. Vendémiaire.
Navy and colonies
Continental Blockade. Colonies (general). Decrès. United States. Slavery. Guadeloupe. Louisiana. Saint-Domingue. Maritime Strategy.
“Black” Cardinals. Concile national. Concordat. Catholic Church. Excommunication of Napoleon and arrest of the Pope. Fesch. Jews. Occupation et annexation of Rome. Pius VII. Protestants. Saint Napoléon.
“Worker” Classes. Citizenship and Nationality. Code civil. Code pénal. Codification (general). Conscription. Intermediary Bodies. Napoleonic Decorations. Female Education. Women. Free Masonry. Gastronomy. Homosexuality. Institut. Public Instruction (reform of 1802). French Language. Légion d’Honneur. Book Business. Wolves. Medicine and hygiene. Music. Neoclassicism. Notability. Public Order. Republican and Royalist Opposition. Panthéon. Paris. Measles. People. Press. Imperial Titles. National Unity. Theatres. Imperial University. “Napoleonic” Towns.
St Helena and the Legend
Napoleon’s Correspondence. His last companions. Legend. Lowe. Napoleon’s Memoirs. The Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène. Napoleon’s Death. Napoleon’s Death (polemics). Surrender to the British. Return of his mortal remains. St Helena. Tomb at the Invalides.