Napoleon: Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography

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Macmillan, Dec 11, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 403 pages
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From Alan Forrest, a preeminent British scholar, comes an exceedingly readable account of the man and his legend

On a cold December day in 1840 Parisians turned out in force to watch as the body of Napoleon was solemnly carried on a riverboat from Courbevoie on its final journey to the Invalides. The return of their long-dead emperor's corpse from the island of St. Helena was a moment that Paris had eagerly awaited, though many feared that the memories stirred would serve to further destabilize a country that had struggled for order and direction since he had been sent into exile.

In this book Alan Forrest tells the remarkable story of how the son of a Corsican attorney became the most powerful man in Europe, a man whose charisma and legacy endured after his lonely death many thousands of miles from the country whose fate had become so entwined with his own.

Along the way, Forrest also cuts away the many layers of myth and counter myth that have grown up around Napoleon, a man who mixed history and legend promiscuously. Drawing on original research and his own distinguished background in French history, Forrest demonstrates that Napoleon was as much a product of his times as their creator.


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Napoleon:Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography

User Review  - Sue White - Book Verdict

There seems to be a never-ending supply of books about Napoleon and his era, tens of thousands of titles having been published over the years. Here, Forrest (Napoleon and His Empire: Europe, 1804–1814 ... Read full review

NAPOLEON: Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Forrest (Modern History/Univ. of York; Paris, the Provinces and the French Revolution, 2004, etc.) offers a balanced view of one of history's most complex and controversial characters.The author seeks ... Read full review


Corsican Beginnings
Son of the Revolution
Bonaparte in Italy
Lure of the Orient
First Consul
From Consulate to Empire
Quest for Glory
A Vision of Civil Society
From the Peninsula to Leipzig
The Hundred Days
Years of Exile
Life after Death

The Reinvention of Monarchy

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About the author (2012)

ALAN FORREST is a professor of modern history and director of the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. He works on modern French history, especially the period of the French Revolution and Empire, and on the history of modern warfare. He serves on the editorial boards of French History and War in History, and is a member of the advisory committee for Annales Historiques de la Revolution Francaise. He lives in York, UK.

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