A fearsome foe on the battlefield, a lovestruck romancer at night -- Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most fascinating and polarizing figures in history. This detailed biography by John Gibson Lockhart captures the famed French warlord and emperor in all of his dazzling complexity. Fans of French history and military strategy should put this volume on their must-read list.
BCC: There are various orders of greatness among which a great man may be classed. This first, because the highest, is moral greatness, where the soul binds itself to virtue, and passes its life in strict adherence to duty and truth . . . [w]hatever may befall it, nothing can shake its virtue.-J.G. Lockhart, Introduction to Life of Napoleon BonaparteBy the age of 25, a disgraced, despondent, and suicidal Napoleon Bonaparte (1799-1813) had been expelled from the army. One year later, he was the youngest general in France, and was winning victories with ragged troops who were at the point of starvation. In this exceptional biography, John Gibson Lockhart examines the life and career of the man who became France's foremost military leader and, in the process, gained the love of his people.AUTHOR BIO: John Gibson Lockhart (1794-1854) was a Scottish lawyer, editor, literary critic, and biographer. A major contributor to Blackwood's Magazine, Lockhart was also editor of and contributor to the Quarterly Review from 1825 to 1853. He became known as "The Scorpion" because of the fierceness of his criticism. Among his works are a volume of adaptations (1823) of ancient Spanish ballads, several novels, and the seven-volume Memoirs of the Life of Sir Walter Scott (1837-38). It is generally ranked among English biographies as second only to Boswell's Johnson.
Originally published in 1829, John Gibson Lockhart's biography of one of the world's greatest military geniuses, endeavours to steer a middle course between diatribe and legend. His treatment of the many controversial topics with which the Napoleonic story bristles always bears the imprint of the author's personality. His style is at once graphic and terse, easy and graceful; and his predilection for incidents and anecdotes of a personal and humorous kind diversifies a narrative which necessarily abounds in facts, figures and contentious questions. This book is a must-read for those who desire to know more about Napoleon the man, and the picturesque incidents of his career.