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Memoirs of Napolean Bonaparte

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  • Memoirs of Napolean Bonaparte

    Memoirs of Napolean Bonaparte by Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne

    I have a copy of this book published in 1906 by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. There is water damage on the hardcover cloth. Written inscriptions on the inside, apparently identifying previous owners. The binding is still intact, but I feel it is delicate.

    Is this considered a rare book? I am wondering what it's worth is. I am thinking of donating it to West Point, as I recall they have a rare book room there.

    Any knowledge or thoughts about the book?

  • #2
    If you're donating it, why worry wot it's worth?
    The long toll of the brave
    Is not lost in darkness
    Over the fruitful earth
    And athwart the seas
    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
    Unquenchable forever.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Von Richter View Post
      If you're donating it, why worry wot it's worth?
      Because donations have a value. Sometimes even a tax deduction.

      Also, I am interested in the history of the publication as well. Do you have any information about the title?

      Thanks,

      A
      Last edited by Alatriste; 27 Feb 10, 15:45.

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      • #4
        Bourrienne's Memoirs

        Bourrienne's memoirs are mendacious and basically worthless as an historical source.

        Bourrienne was a classmate of Napoleon's at Brienne and Napoleon made him his personal secretary when he made general. Bourrienne had 'a magpie's eye' for money and was basically a crook. The first time Napoleon caught him, he fired him as his secretary.

        Napoleon usually gave offenders such as Bourrienne a second chance. He appointed Bourrienne to a diplomatic post in Hamburg and Bourrienne almost immediately enriched himself through graft, amassing a fortune of 2 million francs. He was caught, fired, and Napoleon made him pay back half of it.

        After Napoleon's fall, Bourrienne was paid to write his memoirs, but he never finished them and they were ghost-written and published. Bourriene and the ghost writer did their best to blacken Napoleon's reputation in order to ingratiate themselves with the Bourbons. Fittingly, Bourrienne later went insane and died in an asylum.

        There is an excellent summary on the alleged memoirs in an appendix of Vincent Cronin's biography of Napoleon.

        Sincerely,
        M
        We are not now that strength which in old days
        Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
        Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
        To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

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        • #5
          Massena,

          Thanks for the background on Bourrienne. Do you know if the book is considered a collector's item?

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          • #6
            I have a 4 volume set of this book by the same publisher but it's dated 1905. It is in realitivly good condition and I spent only $35.00 on it at the local antiquitarian bookstore. Just based in this, I doubt it is that much of a collectors item, but it is still not a bad read, even if it is chocked full of lies and anti-napoleonic opinions.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Shadowdancer View Post
              I have a 4 volume set of this book by the same publisher but it's dated 1905. It is in realitivly good condition and I spent only $35.00 on it at the local antiquitarian bookstore. Just based in this, I doubt it is that much of a collectors item, but it is still not a bad read, even if it is chocked full of lies and anti-napoleonic opinions.
              Okay. Thanks for the reply I used to read a lot about Napoleon, but haven't in decades. I did finally make it to Les Invalides about five years ago. That was an enjoyable visit.

              Comment

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