Napoleon 2: The Sun of Austerlitz: No. 2 Paperback – Unabridged, 6 Aug 2004
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"'What a novel my life would make!' Napoleon used to exclaim."
'What a novel my life would make!' Napoleon used to exclaim. Napoleon is thirty years old in November 1799. He has played and won. Brumaire and the Consulate have put paid to the Directory. In five years at Notre Dame, the First Consul will be crowned Emperor of France. One year after that, in the sun of Austerlitz, he will be declaring, 'Soldiers, I am happy with you!' The legendary journey has begun. Conspiracies are rife. All - or almost all - the nations want to destroy him. He must be victorious, otherwise everything will collapse. 'Conquest has made me what I am. Conquest alone can preserve me.' But for how long? Max Gallo follows Napoleon's every step, intimately revealing him in all his extraordinary intelligence and genius. Thousands of books have been written about this mythical figure, undoubtedly one of the most illustrious in the world's history. But none like this, since Max Gallo, as both historian and novelist, is able at every moment to put himself on the most intimate of footings with Napoleon and to attune his account to the very pulse of his fabulous existence.See all Product Description
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I can only really repeat what I have said in other reviews - that this series is essential reading for anyone interested in the interior view of Napoleonic events as seen through the eyes of Napoleon himself. Because it is such an incisive interior view, the reader who is not already knowledgeable about the major events must read some kind of historical anthology along with these books to make any real sense of them. I promise, however, that this targeted syntopical reading will pay big dividends in providing a low cost/high benefit perspective on the age.
For the truly ambitious, I also recommend getting a copy of a book that surveys the Marshals of France and another that canvases the love interests of Napoleon. With all that, a great deal of pleasure and comprehension can be achieved from the reading.
For those already sophisticated in Napoleonic history, the books offer a unique perspective that is missing almost everywhere else. The books can be read along with viewing the DVDs of the four-part A&E adaptation. Personally, the books are much better. However, the movie does deliver voices and characters to the written story.
You cannot go wrong reading these books. They are well crafted and interesting. I am done reading all of them and, sad to say, looking for something as good and as insightful.
For some reason everyone is more interested in the end of Napoleon these days than in the glories and struggles that went before. I guess maybe because the 200th anniversary period is running its course and all the knowing authors want to be positioned for the culmination of the all-European celebration of the age now ongoing.
Well, we still have seven years till the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, so there is plenty of time to catch up for the glory now in store.
So get cracking. Read my other Gallo reviews, and if you like, review my lists that apply to the great age of France, when Western Civilization passed from the Enlightenment to Romanticism, and when the political makeup of Europe passed from the hands of royalty to the complexities of democracy.
This book is essential to the whole story because it is a microcosm of the age. From the heat of the Pyramids, Napoleon rises from a common soldier to the Emperor of Kings. It is a kind of Horatio Alger story that almost cannot be believed.
Also if you want to check out my book Thirsty For Health I would really appreciate it.
Thank you and have a healthy day!