Napoleon: For and Against

By Pieter Geyl; Olive Renier | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VIII
GABRIEL HANOTAUX

THE WRITER

WE possess only a fragment by Hanotaux about Napoleon. It is to be found in a number of articles in the Revue des Deux Mondes in 1925 and 1926. These amount altogether to some 380 pages, but it seems that the author's interest or his strength failed him. He never finished the work and it was never published as a book. This is a pity, for Napoleon is looked upon here from unusual aspects and the resulting picture, in spite of a certain lack of cohesion and of smoothness, is one of the most striking in the whole gallery.

Hanotaux, who was trained as an historian, became an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was himself Minister from 1894 to 1898. In this capacity he attempted to carry through the policy of expansion in Africa at the risk of creating friction with England. No doubt he had the earnest intention of avoiding a war, but he was ready, in the last instance, to play the card of co-operation with Germany. The Fashoda incident was the result of this policy, but it occurred just as Hanotaux was resigning.

Apart from Thiers no one among our authors played so weighty a part in affairs of state, and at the same time left behind him such an important body of historical work. He differs from most of the others by not having concentrated mainly on Napoleon or the Napoleonic age. He reached Napoleon only when he was past seventy, after a monumental work on Richelieu, and a large-scale history of the first ten years of the Third Republic in four large volumes. He also wrote about Joan of Arc, and on various modern subjects. All this is reflected in his work about Napoleon. It is especially the man with personal experience of high matters of state, and the man who spent many years in intimate commerce with Richelieu, whom we find in this work.


ANTITHETICAL PRESENTATION

Hanotaux's articles do not form a connected history. They deal with the tendencies of the regime, and with the characteristics and qualities of Napoleon. The first is called Du Consulat à l'Empire.

-403-

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Napoleon: For and Against
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Preface - To the First Dutch Edition 7
  • Part One - The Antithesis at the Beginning 13
  • Chapter I - Chateaubriand 17
  • Chapter II - Madame de StaËl 19
  • Chapter III - The Napoleonic Legend 23
  • Part Two - The First Chroniclers 33
  • Chapter I - M. Mignet 35
  • Chapter II - Baron Bignon 37
  • Chapter III - Armand Lefebvre 45
  • Chapter IV - Adolphe Thiers 53
  • Part Three - Reaction against the Legend 69
  • Chapter I - Jules Barni 73
  • Chapter II - Edgar Quinet 77
  • Chapter III - Pierre Lanfrey 86
  • Chapter IV - Comte D'Haussonville 106
  • Chapter V - Hippolyte Taine 133
  • Part Four - Admirers 149
  • Chapter I - Prince Napoleon 156
  • Chapter II - Henry Houssaye 160
  • Chapter III - Arthur - LÉVy Polemic against Taine 169
  • Chapter IV - FrÉDÉric Masson 177
  • Chapter V - Count Albert Vandal 230
  • Part Five - The Problem of Foreign Policy 233
  • Chapter I - Old Acquaintances 235
  • Chapter II - Emile Bourgeois 241
  • Chapter III - Two More Old Acquaintances 250
  • Chapter IV - Albert Sorel 254
  • Chapter V - Edouard Driault 308
  • Part Six - The Antithesis at the End 349
  • Chapter 1 356
  • Chapter II - A. L. GuÉrard 362
  • Chapter Ill - G. Pariset 364
  • Chapter IV - Jules Isaac 371
  • Chapter V - Charles Seignobos 373
  • Chapter VI - Jacques Bainville 376
  • Chapter VII - Louis Madelin 390
  • Chapter VIII - Gabriel Hanotaux 403
  • Chapter IX - Georges Lefebvre 446
  • Chronological Table 451
  • Index 465
  • Index of Authors 475
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