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Private Secretary to Napoleon, and Minister of State under the
Directory, the Consulate, the Empire, and the Restoration.
A NEW EDITION, IN ONE VOLUME.
H. G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
The present translation of the Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, by M. de Bourrienne, has been undertaken for the purpose of compressing into one volume of the English Classic LIBRARY,' the life of perhaps the most extraordinary man the world has ever produced. Bourrienne was eminently qualified to be the biographer of Napoleon; he had lived on terms of the closest intimacy with him from his boyhood; and from the official situation as private secretary which he afterwards held under him when general, consul, and emperor, he was present both at the planning and execution of many of the extraordinary deeds which so rapidly succeeded each other during that eventful period. He was able to observe the gradual development and working out of those striking and brilliant ideas, which were communicated to him, in the frankness of confidential intimacy, at the moment of their birth, but which were not always matured and acted upon until a subsequent period.
He has stated, that he always had in view the publication of his Memoirs of Napoleon, and that, from an early period, he commenced making notes and collecting documents, so as to preserve a perfect
recollection of facts and impressions, ‘until the time should arrive at which he might tell the truth, and the whole truth.'
No one can read his Memoirs without being con. vinced of the truth of the narrative, or fail afterwards in forming a perfect estimate of the personal character of Napoleon. The only work in our own language which bears any comparison with the present in its graphic delineation of character, is Boswell's Life of Johnson.
The original work extends to ten volumes, in which the author has confined himself, almost entirely, to the personal life and character of Napoleon, and has seldom given any military detail : the Translator has attempted to supply this deficiency, and to connect the history by adding short abstracts, taken from various authors, of the principal military operations in which Napoleon was himself engaged ; he has also appended a concise account of his second abdication, residence at St. Helena, and death; and trusts that he has succeeded in condensing the voluminous materials which were presented to him, into one connected narrative of great interest.