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This magnificent reconstruction of Napoleon’s life and legend, written by a distinguished Oxford scholar, is based on intimate documents—including the personal letters of Marie-Louise and the decoded diaries of Grand Marshal Bertrand, who accompanied Napoleon to his final exile on St. Helena. It has been hailed as the most important single-volume work in Napoleonic literature.
Felix Markham (1908–92) was born in Brighton, England. After graduating from Oxford, he taught history there for some forty years. Among his books are Napoleon and the Awakening of Europe and The Bonapartes. He was also the editor and translator of such works as Henri Comte de Saint-Simon, 1760–1825: Selected Writings.
Steven Englund took a doctorate from Princeton after studying at Cambridge. He has taught at UCLA, the Université de Paris VIII, Sciences Po, l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and is now Distinguished NYU Professor at the American University of Paris. His books or coauthorships include The Inquisition in Hollywood: Politics in the Film Community, 1930–1960 and Napoleon: A Political Life, which was winner of the History Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoléon as well as the J. Russell Major Prize (for best book in English on French History, 2004) of the American Historical Association. Among the publications he contributes to are La Revue des Deux Mondes, Le Monde, La Revue d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine, Commonweal, and Cross Currents. He was a Guggenheim Fellow from 2005 to 2006.
“Excellent.”—The New Yorker
“A masterpiece.”—Wall Street Journal
“The university lecturer in history at Oxford has approached the impossible; he has written a new life of one of the most written-about figures in modern history with freshness, vivacity, fine scholarship, and penetration.”—The Boston Globe
“Markham has achieved a startlingly vivid and coherent picture of Napoleon’s career, of the social and intellectual influences that molded it, and of the men and forces that opposed it. The military events, the political movements, the personal intrigues—all appear, each in its proper places and perspective.”—Los Angeles Times