THREE CLASSIC NAPOLEONIC SOURCES: HAZLITT, BOURRIENNE AND JUNOT
HAZLITT, William. The Life of Napoleon. Six volumes. WITH: BOURRIENNE, Louis Antoine Fauvelet. Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte. Four volumes. WITH: JUNOT. Memoirs of Madame Junot. Duchesse D'Abrantes. Six volumes. WITH: ANONYMOUS. Napoleon Intime. London: Grolier Society, [circa 1905]. Together, seventeen volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter red morocco, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut and partly unopened. $6000.
Limited “Imperial Edition de Luxe,” number 398 of 1000 sets, with hand-colored frontispiece engravings and numerous copperplate engraved portraits throughout.
This beautifully illustrated collection contains three of the great works related to Napoleon: Hazlitt's Life, Bourrienne's Memoirs and Madame Junot's Memoirs, along with the anonymous (and privately published) Napoleon Intime. Hazlitt, in his Life, originally published in 1828, "cherished an idolatry for his hero, singular in one who boasted of an uncompromising love of political liberty; but he regarded Napoleon as representing antagonism to the doctrine of the divine right of kings" (DNB). "Bourrienne, a French statesman, studied at the military school of Brienne, where he was on friendly terms with the young Napoleon. In 1797 he became Napoleon's secretary," an appointment which "continued during all the most brilliant part of Napoleon's career" and afforded him the intimacy upon which the Memoirs, which first appeared in English in 1830, are based (CBD). Madame Junot knew the Bonaparte family almost from childhood. After her husband's death, she took to writing for a living. Her 1831 Memoirs give an excellent, if not always wholly reliable, picture of court, military, diplomatic, and literary society of the period.