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Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte -Complete - (1885) - PDF ebooks

Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte by Louis Antoine Fauvelet deBourrienne - 1885 

Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte


Excerpt from the introduction:

The Memoirs of the time of Napoleon may be divided into two classes — those by marshals and officers, of which Suchet's is a good example, chiefly devoted to military movements, and those by persons employed in the administration and in the Court, giving us not only materials for history but also valuable details of the personal and inner life of the great Emperor and of his immediate surroundings. 

Of this latter class, the Memoirs of Bourrienne are among the most important. Long the intimate and personal friend of Napoleon both at school and from the end of the Italian campaigns in 1797 till 1802 — working in the same room with him, using the same purse, the confidant of most of his schemes, and, as his secretary, having the largest part of all the official and private correspondence of the time passed through his hands, Bourrienne occupied an invaluable position for storing and recording materials for history.

 The Memoirs of his successor, General, are more those of an esteemed private secretary: yet, valuable and interesting as they are, they want the peculiarity of position which marks those of Bourrienne, who was a compound of secretary, minister, and friend. The accounts of such men as Miot de Melito, Roederer, etc., are most valuable, but these writers were not in that close contact with Napoleon enjoyed by Bourrienne. Bourrienne's position was simply unique, and we can only regret that he did not occupy it till the end of the Empire.

 Thus it is natural that his Memoirs should have been largely used by historians, and to properly understand the history of the time, they must be read by all students. They are indeed full of interest for everyone. But they also require to be read with great caution. When we meet with praise of Napoleon, we may generally believe it, for, as Thiers {Consulat, ii. 279) says, Bourrienne need be little suspected on this side, for although he owed everything to Napoleon, he has not seemed to remember it. But very often in passages in which blame is on Napoleon, Boumenne speaks, partly with much of the natural bitterness of a former and discarded friend, and partly with the curious mixed feeling which even the brothers of Napoleon display in their Memoirs, pride in the wonderful abilities evinced by the man with whom he was allied, and jealousy at the way in which he was outshone by the man he had in youth regarded as inferior to himself. Sometimes also we may even suspect the praise.

 Thus when Bourrienne defends Napoleon forgiving, as he alleges, poison to the sick at Jaffa, a doubt arises whether his object was to really defend what to most Englishmen of this day, with remembrances of the deeds and resolutions of the Indian Mutiny, will seem an act to be pardoned, if not approved; or whether he was more anxious to fix the committal of the act on Napoleon at a time when public opinion loudly blamed it.

Author:  Louis Antoine Fauvelet deBourrienne,
Translator: Ramsay Weston Phipps
Publication date:1885

The memoirs consist of 4 Volumes in two PDF ebooks 


Download Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte   Volume 1 and 2 in one PDF ebook 23 MB


Download Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte  Volume 3 and 4 - One PDF Ebook 24 MB

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