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____________________