Napoleon: For and Against

By Pieter Geyl; Olive Renier | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
LOUIS MADELIN

THE AUTHOR

LOUIS MADELIN may be counted among the professional historians although he has never tried to make a career in the Université. He is a talented writer, he professes the correct conservative, religious and patriotic sentiments. No wonder then that, with a book about Fouché and a highly admired and unrevolutionary history of the French Revolution to his credit, he was elected to the Académie. But of the many 'immortals' whom we have met1 he seems to me, for all his charm, learning and productiveness, to be the least outstanding personality.

Madelin's Fouché goes back to the beginning of the century. I shall not enumerate his works (from one of his books I have already given a quotation).2 In 1932 and 1933 he published, in Funck Brentano's Histoire de France racontée à tous, in which twenty years earlier his Révolution had appeared, two volumes about Consulat et Empire. I shall limit myself mainly to these, although soon afterwards he began the publication of a much more detailed work in which the same subject matter was to be dealt with once more, but this time in twelve volumes, of which, however, only four had appeared at the outbreak of war.

From Madelin's somewhat sarcastic description of the self- opinionated Napoleonic officials outside France proper, which I have quoted, the reader may have formed the impression that his conservative attitude of mind is likely to make him critical of the activity and the personality of Napoleon. This is far from being the case. It is impossible to hesitate even for a moment about him as one can about Bainville. He is an admirer, and while Bainville copies without further consideration from Vandal and Sorel, but yet adds something of his own, it can be said of Madelin that his work continues on the lines laid down by the two great Napoleonic historians. There is less uncritical copying, but also less that is

____________________
1
Chateaubriand, Mignet, Thiers, d'Haussonville, Taine, Houssaye, Vandal, Masson, Sorel, Lavisse, France, Barrès, Bainville and presently Hanotaux.
2
Above, pp. 330 sqq.

-390-

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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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