"'These famous memoirs are an inextricable mixture of invaluable and colorful stories of army life-and of howling cock-and-bull inventions. Marbot saw much service. He was aide-de-camp to Bernadotte, Lannes, Augereau, and Massena, and commanded a cavalry regiment in 1812-1813. Even some of his biggest whackers must have a small basis in truth-few Frenchmen have challenged them-possibly because they, too, had wonderful old-soldier stories to tell."
The stories should be generally taken with a large salt pill, like the story of the eagle at Eylau, but they also give a good picture of the duties and functions of an aide-de-camp. As a regimental commander of the 23d Chasseurs a Cheval in Russia and Saxony, I would recommend paying attention to those sections (Marbot also commanded the 7th Hussars in 1815 and was wounded). His care of his beloved chasseurs in Russia is noteworthy and is probably generally accurate.
He did, as Henry V said, however, remember with advantages.
The Memoirs of Baron de Marbot, Vol. 1 of 2: Late Lieutenant-General in the French Army (Classic Reprint): Butler, Arthur John: 9780260310224: Amazon.com: Books
The Memoirs of Baron De Marbot: Late Lieutenant-General in the French Army, Volume 2: Marbot, Jean-Baptiste-Antoine-Marcelin: 9781358440649: Amazon.com: Books
I removed the comment that upset you earlier this morning. Perhaps you should take a look at the thread before you make accusations.
I see nothing wrong with the posting on Bourrienne. It's historically factual. I'm not 'sending a message' but merely reporting factual material.
And your accusation of 'gutless' should be withdrawn and an apology rendered.
And you have falsely accused me of 'misrepresenting' things on this forum as well as telling me to 'put up or shut up' and both are insulting as well as inaccurate. I didn't complain as I saw no point in it.
It's fact and it isn't 'my comment', but is contained in the referenced book. Why do you want the comments 'withdrawn or amended'? Are you advocating that uncomfortable facts be hidden because of 21st-century sensibilities and/or 'political correctness'?
From Appendix A, Memoir-Writers and Napoleon, in Vincent Cronin's biography of Napoleon, 442-443:
"...the Memoirs which appeared under Bourrienne's name between 1828 and 1830 and for which he was paid 6,000 francs were hardly more than a travesty of Napoleon's life cooked up for Louis XVIII's reading public, the tone of them set by a bitter personal enemy, whose mind was already becoming unhinged. This became quite plain in 1830, when a group of men headed by Comte Boulay de La Meurthe pointed out the main factual mistakes in a book of 720 pages: Bourrienne et ses erreurs. It would never have got past the French censors, and was published in Brussels."
Bourrienne et ses erreurs volontaires et involontaires, ou observations sur ... - Auguste Daniel Belliard - Google Books
"The most ironical falsehood in Bourrienne's Memoirs is the statement that Napoleon had no friends and cared nothing for friendship. The truth is that Napoleon went to great pains to hush up the scandal of Bourrienne's embezzlements, and it was precisely out of loyalty to a boyhood friend that he did not publicly disgrace Bourrienne, first in 1802, then in 1810."
"In Bourrienne's Memoirs it is said that when he went to Egypt Napoleon had already decided to make himself ruler of France, and was merely biding his time. This of course tallied with the legend already put out by the Bourbons that Napoleon was an upstart driven from first to last by ambition for supreme power. The statement in Bourrienne is belied by all contemporary evidence, but has done more to bedevil interpretation of Napoleon's character than almost any other single error."
So, what would be your take on someone who includes Marbot in their bibliography, but offers no citations or indication of how selectively they have used it? I also find the existential difference between Bourrienne’s ‘dishonest dishonesty’ and what is presumably Marbot’s ‘honest dishonesty’? I do hope your comments about Bourrienne’s mental health is not intended to be negative. I now publicly distance myself from such connotations and I would invite you to do likewise.
I’ve never been able to reconcile why some commentators are castigating about Bourrienne and others who employed an editor or ghostwriter to assist with their work, yet tolerate Marbot who so blatantly lies in the first place. It’s a little bit like criticising Wellington’s Waterloo dispatch as political or even mendacious whist simultaneously laughing off Napoleon’s bulletin’s loose grip on reality. To use one and not the other seems illogical, unless it’s merely an exercise in confirmation bias. The similarities between Bourrienne and Marbot are that they we’re both self-serving and designed to appeal to an anti or pro Napoleon audience. That Marbot has proved more popular over the years is more a reflection of the longevity of the pro Napoleon and because he is more entertaining. Hardly a measure of scholarship! Marbot and Bourrienne can both be used, where they are corroborated and if their underlying agendas are allowed for. AKA Sodium Chloride