THE EMPEROR’S TEARS: GRIEF AND MOURNING IN THE PROPAGANDA OF NAPOLEONIC FRANCE
Treadwell, Charlotte Susan
This thesis explores Napoleon’s use of grief and mourning in propaganda. Drawing on military bulletins, published accounts of funerals, and poetry and prose, this thesis examines portrayals of the deaths of Jean Lannes and Géraud-Christophe Michel Duroc in official propaganda, and the responses these portrayals provoked in popular culture and private correspondence. This thesis outlines ways in which Napoleon and his government portrayed and evoked grief and mourning in order to influence public opinion, including depicting Napoleon’s grief in order to construct a sympathetic portrait of him, evoking grief within the army as a source of motivation, and using public commemoration of the dead to glorify the empire and provide a model of heroism and devotion for France’s soldiers and citizens to emulate.