Cover image for Napoleon : the immortal emperor
Napoleon : the immortal emperor
Gengembre, Gérard.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Napoléon. English
Publication Information:
New York : Vendome Press : [Distributed by H.N. Abrams], 2003.

Physical Description:
255 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 27 cm
The mark of the eagle -- Napoleon on his own -- It all beings with propaganda -- The sword of the Revolution -- The savior of the Republic -- A Washington for the French -- A Charlemagne for modern times -- Imperator, master of Europe -- Island to island -- The great man of the 19th century -- 'I am called to change the world' -- Death and transfiguration -- The Napoleon of the Romantics -- From usurper and ogre to the Antichrist -- From national hero to the victor of 1918 -- Napoleon: a myth of the 20th century -- The Napoleons of the 20th century -- Napoleon superstar -- At the heart of history and politics -- The territories of the sacred -- Collections and auctions: the living tomb -- At the dawn of the third millennium.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DC203 .G41513 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The year 2003 marks the 200th anniversary of the Coronation of Napoleon, the military and political genius who rose from the ashes of the French Revolution to become the most charismatic and dominant leader since Alexander the Great. Lavishly illustrated, this volume includes rare and previously unpublished material, not only on Napoleon's stunning military victories but also on his astonishing innovations in government, introducing a powerful national bank, a well-organized code of law, universal education, an efficient civil service, public museums and more. Highlights of Napoleon's meteroic career and passionate romances with Josephine and other beautiful aristocratic women are recalled in more than 300 reproductions, including masterpieces by Jacques-Louis David (Napoleon's official court painter), through Jean-Louis Messonier and, in our own time, Larry Rivers. No previously published biography of Napoleon can compete with the combination of scholarship and elegant presentation that this book offers.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

First published in French in 1933 and last translated into English two years later, the memoirs of General de Caulaincourt remain one of the most important documents of Napoleon's reign in general and the 1812 invasion of Russia in particular. De Caulaincourt, a member of the old nobility who survived and prospered in the French Revolution, was a born soldier and politician. Coming to Napoleon's attention in 1809, he was appointed aide-de-camp and promoted to brigadier general one year later. Subsequently serving as master of the horse, ambassador to Russia, and twice minister for foreign affairs, he was Napoleon's political adviser. His revealing eyewitness accounts give readers a close-up of Napoleon's thoughts and strategies during the disastrous Russian campaign and will prove invaluable for scholarly research. Recommended for all academic and large public libraries. Gengembre's is not yet another biography of Napoleon Bonaparte but more a lush iconography of his life and the effect it had on history down to the 20th century. Lavishly illustrated on heavy paper stock and well bound, the book depicts every political view of the charismatic emperor in over 300 images, almost all of them in color. It includes many images of memorabilia used by Napoleon, such as, for example, pencils, hats, swords, books he read and annotated, even the clothing he wore when he died. Sculptures, film stills from many (if not all) of the movies concerning the emperor, and multiple books about him tell this well-known story in a new and original way. Gengembre (Univ. of Caen, Normandy, France) weaves an enthralling narrative through all these images, carrying the complex story of Napoleon's influence well beyond his death in 1821. Recommended for all libraries.-David Lee Poremba, Detroit P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The emperor may have been immortal, but it is not at all clear that this book will be. In the course of 250 richly illustrated pages, Gengembre (French literature, Universite de Caen Basse-Normandie) surveys the development of the cult of Napoleon, starting with the remarkable efforts of the young hero of the Italian campaign to portray himself (and to have himself portrayed) as superhuman. Napoleon continued to promote himself throughout his years of glory and exile, and did so with the support of legions of artists and writers. Gengembre goes on to consider the rich history of the cult of Napoleon to the present time. There are points that are of real interest to serious historians (among them, the return of the Emperor's ashes in 1840 and Foch's evocation of Napoleonic glory in 1918), but they are fleeting. This is a work where illustrations are dominant, and the accompanying text rushes along to keep pace with the images. At the end, Gengembre drifts somewhat inexplicably into a discussion of the marketing of Napoleonic memorabilia. All in all, this is more a book for general readers than for scholars. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Public libraries. S. Bailey Knox College