Napoleon: A Life Told in Gardens and Shadows Ruth Scurr
Publisher : Liveright (June 15, 2021)
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-13 : 9781631492419
Published on the 200th anniversary of his death, Napoleon is an unprecedented portrait of the emperor seen through his engagement with the natural world.
One of the greatest generals in history, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) has for centuries attracted great male writers, who invariably identify with him. Ruth Scurr rejects the shibboleth of the “Great Man” theory of history, instead following the dramatic trajectory of Napoleon's life through gardens, parks, and forests, not through his battlefields.
Scurr, one of our most eloquent and admired historians, frames the general’s life through the green spaces he created and the diverse cast of scientists, architects, family members, and gardeners who stood in the shadows of his meteoric rise and fall. His dealings with these people offer unguarded and unusual opportunities to see how Napoleon grafted the worst corruption of the Ancien Régime into a new French Empire.
From his humble Corsican beginnings to his canny seizure of power after the French Revolution to his exile on the island of St. Helena, Napoleon, with stunning illustrations throughout, is a work of revelatory range and depth, setting a new standard in biography.
40 black-and-white illustrations.
Lecturer and Fellow at Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge, Ruth Scurr is a historian, writer, and literary critic. The author of the award-winning Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution, she lives in Cambridge, UK.