The life of Napoleon Bonaparte - William Milligan Sloane - PDF book

The life of Napoleon Bonaparte 

The life of Napoleon Bonaparte
The life of Napoleon Bonaparte -

This life of Napoleon was first published in 1896 as a book: for the years 1895-96, it ran as a serial in the pages of the Century Magazine. Judging from the sales, it has been read by many tens if not hundreds of thousands of readers; and it has been extensively noticed in the critical journals of both worlds. Throughout these fourteen years, the demand has been very large and steady, considering the size and cost of the volumes. Both publishers and author have determined therefore that a library edition was desired by the public, and in that confidence, the book has been partly rewritten and entirely remade.

 In the main, it is the same book as that which has passed through so many editions. But in some respects, it has been amplified. The portion relating to the period of youth has been somewhat expanded, the personalities of those nearest to Napoleon have been in some cases more broadly sketched, new chapters have been added to the treatment of the Continental System, the Louisiana Purchase, and the St. Helena epoch. In all the text has been lengthened about one-tenth. Under the compulsion of physical dimensions, the author has minimized the number of authorities and footnotes. There is really very little controversial matter regarding 

Napoleon which is not a matter of opinion: the evidence has been so carefully sifted that substantial agreement as to fact has been reached. Accordingly, there have been introduced at the opening of chapters or divisions shortlists of good references for those who desire to extend their reading: experts know their own way. It is an interesting fact which throws great Hght on the slight value of foot-notes that while I have had extensive correspondence with my fellow workers, there has come to me in all these years but a single request for the source of two statements, and one demand for the evidence upon which certain opinions were based. 

In the closing years of the eighteenth-century European society began its effort to get rid of benevolent despotism, so-called, and to secure its liberties under forms of constitutional government. The struggle began in France, and spread over the more important lands of continental Europe; its influence was strongly felt in England, and even in the United States. 

Passing through the phases of constitutional reform, of anarchy, and of military despotism, the movement seemed for a time to have failed, and to outward appearances absolutism was stronger after Waterloo than it had been half a century earlier. But the force of the revolution was only checked, not spent; and to the awakening of general intelligence, the strengthening of national feeling, and the upbuilding of a sense of common brotherhood among men, produced by the revolutionary struggles of this epoch, Europe owes whatever liberty and free government its peoples now enjoy. 

At the close of this period national power was no longer in the hands of the aristocracy, nor in those of kings; it had passed into the third social stratum, variously designated as the middle class, the burghers or bourgeoisie, and the third estate, a body of men as little willing to share it with the masses as the kings had been. 

Nevertheless, the transition once begun could not be stopped, and the advance of manhood suffrage has ever since been proportionate to the capacity of the labouring classes to receive and use it, until now, at last, whatever may be the nominal form of government in any civilized land, its stability depends entirely upon the support of the people as a whole. 

That which is the basis of all government — the power of the purse — has passed into their hands. This momentous change was of course a turbulent one — the most turbulent in the history of civilization, as it has proved to be the most comprehensive. Consequently, its epoch is most interesting, being dramatic in the highest degree, having brought into prominence men and characters who rank among the great of all time and having exhibited to succeeding generations the most important lessons in the most vivid light. 

By common consent, the eminent man of the time was Napoleon Bonaparte, the revolution queUer, the bigger sovereign, the imperial democrat, the supreme captain, the civil reformer, the victim of circumstances which his soaring ambition used but which his unrivalled prowess could not control. Gigantic in his proportions, and Satanic in his fate, he was the most tragic figure on the stage of modern history. 

While the men of his own and the following generation were still alive, it was almost impossible that the truth should be known concerning his actions or his motives; and to fix his place in general history was even less feasible. What he wrote and said about himself was of course animated by a determination to appear in the best light; what others wrote and said has been biased by either devotion or hatred.

Some contents:

The Bonapartes in Corsica .
 Napoleon's Birth and Childhood
Napoleon's School-days .... V In Paris and Valence ' . . . .
Private Study and Garrison Life.
Further Attempts at Authorship
The Revolution in France
Buonaparte and Revolution in Corsica
First Lessons in Revolution . . .
Traits of Character
The Revolution in the Rhone Valley
Buonaparte the Corsican Jacobin
Buonaparte the French Jacobin . .
A Jacobin Hegira...
The Supper of Beaucaire".
Toulon . . .
A Jacobin General
Vicissitudes in War and Diplomacy
The End of Apprenticeship
The Antechamber to Success
Bonaparte the General of the Convention
The Day of the Paris Sections
A Marriage of Inclination and Interest XXV Europe and the Directory
Bonaparte on a Great Stage . . . .
The Conquest of Piedmont and the Milanese. 
An Insubordinate Conqueror and Diplomatist
 Bassano and Arcola

the book details :
  • Author: William Milligan Sloane (November 12, 1850 – September 12, 1928) was an American educator and historian.
  • Publication date: 1910
  • Company: New York, The Century co.

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