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Violets in Their Lapels

David A. Bell: Bonapartism

23 June 2005
The Legend of Napoleon 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Granta, 336 pp., £20, August 2004, 1 86207 667 7
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The Retreat 
by Patrick Rambaud, translated by William Hobson.
Picador, 320 pp., £7.99, June 2005, 0 330 48901 1
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Napoleon: The Eternal Man of St Helena 
by Max Gallo, translated by William Hobson.
Macmillan, 320 pp., £10.99, April 2005, 0 333 90798 1
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The Saint-Napoleon: Celebrations of Sovereignty in 19th-Century France 
by Sudhir Hazareesingh.
Harvard, 307 pp., £32.95, May 2004, 0 674 01341 7
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Napoleon and the British 
by Stuart Semmel.
Yale, 354 pp., £25, September 2004, 0 300 09001 3
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... and a fair share of devotion. Two recent series of French novels illustrate these points. Patrick Rambaud’s polished trilogy, of which two volumes (The Battle, The Retreat) have so far appeared in English, treats the emperor with fascinated scorn. The three parts move from the horrific 1809 battle of Essling, in which 40,000 men died in 30 ...

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