Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Fonthill Media (March 19, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
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Oscar Browning's The Boyhood and Youth of Napoleon is based on a sealed packet of papers found in Napoleon's study during the Hundred Days. The packet was marked "À remettre au Cardinal Fesch seul" was delivered to the Emperor's uncle in Rome, but remained unopened. Following Fesch's death in 1839, Fesch's papers including the unopened packet were sold and eventually came into the possession of Lord Ashburnham. In the 1880s the papers were cataloged by Frédéric Masson and in 1895 Masson published the papers as Napoléon Inconnu along with other manuscripts Masson had collected concerning Napoleon's youth. Arthur Chuquet then used Masson's work as the basis for his La Jeunesse de Napoléon. Oscar Browning (1837-1923), a disgraced former master at Eton, used Masson's and Chuquet's works, as well as every book "contained in the admirable bibliography of Kircheisen, which bears on this period," (p. 12) to produce this popular biography of Napoleon's early years. Originally titled Napoleon, The First Phase (1905) in obvious imitation of Lord Roseberry's well-known, Napoleon, the Last Phase (1900), to whom Browning dedicated his work. Browning, obviously interested in the Napoleonic era, had previously published England and Napoleon in 1803 (1887).In The Boyhood and Youth of Napoleon Browning tells the story of Napoleon from his antecedents in Italy through the siege of Toulon in an easy, readable style. Browning tells the reader that his goal is to put Napoleon “in a human light.” In Browning estimation even as a young boy Napoleon was already marked as special. Normally the oldest brother would be designated for a military career, while the younger would go into the priesthood.
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