“AH! BOURRIENNE, YOU ALSO WILL BE IMMORTAL!”
BOURRIENNE, Louis Antoine Fauvelet de. Memoirs of Napoleon. New York: Grolier Society, circa 1885. Four volumes. Octavo, contemporary full black morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, red morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut and partially unopened.
Limited “Empire” edition of de Bourrienne’s classic biography of Napoleon, number 181 of only 425 copies, containing 24 tissue-guarded plates (four full color), handsomely bound in full morocco.
Of contemporary accounts of Napoleon, "among the best of the French eyewitness observations are the Memoirs of Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, a schoolmate of Napoleon from their days at the military school at Brienne-le-Chateau in the early 1780s. Napoleon then employed Bourrienne as his private secretary beginning in 1797, and Bourrienne accompanied Napoleon on his campaign in Egypt. Although the two men had a falling out later in their careers… the Memoirs, first published in 1829 and a popular sensation from the moment of their publication…. have stood the test of time" (Tignor, Memoirs of Napoleon, Introduction). "The fame of Bourrienne rests, not upon his achievements or his original works… but upon his Memoirs" (Britannica). With a color frontispiece plate in each volume and 20 additional full-page photogravures throughout after paintings and engravings by David, Desnoyers, Girodet, Bouilly, Gros, Vernet, Guerin and others. Faint occasional penciled marginalia.