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Hardbound.

English text, 300 photographs.

272 pages

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15,00 €

14,42 € tax excl.

HC-0528


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The most remarkable fact about Napoleon’s political career was that there was never any separation in his heart or mind between France and Italy. On the pediment of the Carrousel Arc de Triomphe, the French and Italian coats of arms are engraved at the same height. The Emperor always wore the Order of the Iron Crown alongside his Legion of Honour, and, until Saint Helena, until his last breath, the colours of the red French Legion of Honour and the green-edged orange of the Italian crown could be seen intermingled on his chest. In this way the Emperor demonstrated how wrong Metternich had been when the famous statement "Italy is nothing but a geographical expression" - was attributed to him. A geographical expression it may have been in the eyes of the Austrians, but it was a cornerstone in the redrafting of Napoleonic Europe.
Napoleon’s ties to Italy are still too often reduced to his lightning 1796 and 1800 campaigns. This love story, made up of happy moments but also resentment, continued well beyond Marengo. The history of Napoleon and of Italy from 1805 to 1815 is above all that of an absence. Napoleon only saw Italy again twice in ten years (from 19 April to 8 July 1805, then from 21 November to 28 December 1807). And yet not a day went by without two, three or four letters going by post or telegraph (from 1809 onwards) to Milan, Rome or Naples. This permanent place in the Emperor’s thinking illustrated his desire to make Italy a model state "à la française".
Italy was the little brother being helped to grow up under a permanent, severe and vigilant gaze, but also one full of affection.

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