Napoleon the First: A Biography

Napoleon the First: A Biography

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Napoleon the First: A Biography

Napoleon the First: A Biography

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Before the appearance of the recent Lives of Napoleon by Professor Sloane and Mr. J. H. Rose, the work here presented in English was generally recognized by competent judges to be the best brief history of Napoleon that had been written. Whatever relative position would be accorded to it to-day, compared with these biographies, it may be affirmed confidently and without invidiousness that its positive merits are no less great than formerly and that it has the relative advantage in this edition of being comprised in one volume and of being accompanied by a classified bibliography equally well adapted, within its limits, to serve as a guide to the student of Napoleonic history and as a manual for the librarian.

Among the positive merits of Fournier's Napoleon I. should be mentioned the thorough research upon which the narrative is based, the interesting, vivid, and at times dramatic style in which it is written, its broad historical spirit and impartiality of judgment, its excellent proportions, not allotting undue space to certain phases nor neglecting the civil side of Napoleon's career, and, finally, its lucid exposition of the general historical situation and of the various contending factors.

These merits so strongly impressed me at the time of its original publication that I felt that a good translation would he a distinct and valuable addition to the large mass of Napoleonic literature already accessible to the English reader. Some years later I secured the author's sanction for such an undertaking and entrusted the work of translation to my friend and former pupil Mr. F. H. Schwan of Cleveland. Mr. Schwan executed the task with scholarly fidelity. As I was not able, however, at the time arrangements were made for publication to . . .

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