The Life of Napoleon Buonaparte: A Biography
By Walter Scott
After plunging Europe into a terrible war, Napoleon died on Elba in 1821. Five years later his contemporary Sir Walter Scott wrote a brilliant debunking biography that stirred up international controversy for its thundering assault on the Napoleon legend. It so inflamed the French that Napoleon’s most-trusted general challenged Scott to a duel. Published simultaneously in German, French, Italian and Spanish, the book was an international phenomenon. Scott’s research took advantage of privileged access to government papers as well as those of the main players, including the Duke of Wellington and important French generals. His life of Napoleon stands out not least because of his skillful portrayal of genuine people in both the smallest and most significant events.