Having visited L'Hôtel national des Invalides several times I have accumulated a very small collection of souvenirs. Usually I buy something that is small, since walking with a huge block of plaster would be difficult for a day of touring Paris. I am certain that I do not want the death mask. Even the hand creeps me out. But the Josephine plaque really appeals to me. I would place it in a sunny location in our greenhouse.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Equality is the principle underlying Napoleon's tax system, his code of laws and his educational reforms. But equality, Napoleon believed, was in itself insufficient to bring out the best in people. Something more positive was needed than leveling down.From Vincent Cronin's Book: Napoleon Bonaparte An Intimate Biography.
He was aware that in any society energy is generated by incentives.
In a commercial society the incentive is money.
But Napoleon had never been interested in money. If he took immense pains about a task or risked his life under enemy fire, he did so largely from a sense of honour.
France, he decided, was like him in that respect.
What Frenchmen valued was glory, a reputation for honour.
Well then, let that be the incentive.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Recently I was reminded by a blog reader that one of the best books written about the Emperor is "Napoleon Bonaparte An Intimate Biography" by Vincent Cronin.
I agree. I love this book and took it off my shelf to reread immediately.
I have been reading a chapter or two each evening and quietly smiling about all the amazing "behind the scenes" details Vincent provides.
Many of us are more interested in THE MAN Napoleon. I am drawn to any stories about his day to day life. But this book provides answers to so many other questions I have.
This is a section I most enjoyed. It describes what the soldier in Napoleon's army wore/carried each day.
"At this time the basic French fighting man wore blue trousers and tunic, and a black leather cartridge-pouch containing thirty-five cartridges; attached to it was a leather purse for spare flints, a screwdriver and the tire-bales, a special pin for cleaning the aperture of the sighting-van on his musket, which tended to clog, and the rag for cleaning the working parts. On his back he carried a calfskin haversack containing - theoretically - spare boots, extra cartridges, bread or biscuit for four days, two shirts, a collar, a vest, a pair of pants, stockings, gaiters, a nightcap, brushes and a sleeping bag. Altogether, including musket, he carried a weight of 50 pounds."
How I love the detail! FIFTY POUNDS! That is a lot...never mind that they were half starved and climbing mountains!