Like volume one of Michael Broers’s magnificent biography, The Spirit of the Age is based on the new version of Napoleon’s correspondence, made available by the Fondation Napoléon in Paris. It is the story of Napoleon’s conquest of Europe—and that of his magnificent Grande Armée—as they sweep through the length and breadth of Europe.
This narrative opens with Napoleon’s as yet untested army making its way through the Bavarian Alps in the early winter of 1805 to fall upon the unsuspecting Austrians and Russians at Austerlitz. This was only the beginning of a series of spectacular victories over the Prussians and Russians over the next two years. The chronicle then follows the army into Spain, in 1808, the most ill-considered step in Napoleon’s career as ruler, and then through the most daunting triumph of all, the final defeat of Austria at Wagram, in 1809, the bloodiest battle in European history up to that time.
Written with great energy and authority-and using the newly available personal archives of Napoleon himself-the first volume of a majestic two-part biography of the great French emperor and conqueror
All previous lives of Napoleon have relied more on the memoirs of others than on his own uncensored words. This is the first life of Napoleon, in any language, that makes full use of his newly released personal correspondence compiled by the Napoleon Foundation in Paris.
Michael Broers' biography draws on the thoughts of Napoleon himself as his incomparable life unfolded. It reveals a man of intense emotion, but also of iron self-discipline; of acute intelligence and immeasurable energy. Tracing his life from its dangerous Corsican roots, through his rejection of his early identity, and the dangerous military encounters of his early career, it tells the story of the sheer determination, ruthlessness, and careful calculation that won him the precarious mastery of Europe by 1807. After the epic battles of Austerlitz, Jena, and Friedland, France was the dominant land power on the continent.
Here is the first biography of Napoleon in which this brilliant, violent leader is evoked to give the listener a full, dramatic, and all-encompassing portrait.