13

Catastrophe in Russia

IN MAKING PEACE WITH Napoleon at Schönbrunn, Metternich intended not only to liquidate the disastrous single-handed Austrian venture of 1809 but to supplant Russia as Napoleon's ally. The Emperor Francis was disgusted that he had been dragged into war by `patriots' and `Jacobins', and agreed with Metternich that, for the foreseeable future, the Napoleonic domination must be accepted and exploited to Austria's advantage.

According to Metternich's memoirs, Napoleon brutally demanded a marriage alliance from a reluctant and disdainful Habsburg court. The facts, as revealed by the Vienna Archives, were quite different. Countess Metternich was sent to Paris to work for an Austrian marriage, and when the contract was signed she wrote to her husband, `Now the affair is successful, and is all that we could desire.' In a Privy Council of December 1809, Napoleon had finally taken the decision to divorce Josephine; and Metternich told the Prussian envoy that an Austrian marriage-offer was essential in order to forestall Russia. A Senatus consultum of December 16 announced the divorce, and the religious marriage of 1804 was annulled, in default of the Pope, by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Paris.

-185-

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Napoleon
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Corsican Background 15
  • 2 - The Turn of the Wheel 24
  • 3 - Victory in Italy 34
  • 4 - The Eastern Adventure 55
  • 5 - Brumaire and Marengo 68
  • 6 - First Consul 88
  • 7 - The New Charlemagne 103
  • 8 - Austerlitz and the Defeat of the Third Coalition 120
  • 9 - The Napoleonic Empire 131
  • 10 - The Continental System 155
  • 11 - The Spanish Ulcer 164
  • 12 - Wagram and the Awakening of Europe 173
  • 13 - Catastrophe in Russia 185
  • 14 - Leipzig and Abdication 200
  • 15 - The Hundred Days and Waterloo 217
  • 16 - St. Helena 236
  • 17 - The Napoleonic Legend 255
  • Appendix I - The Diagnosis of Napoleon''s Illness 267
  • Appendix II - The Death-Mask of Napoleon 269
  • Select Bibliography 271
  • Index 291
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