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Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Paris

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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby Mark » February 16th, 2012, 1:16 pm

Interesting information, Laurent! Thanks for sharing :)

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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby TheBibliophile » February 16th, 2012, 3:35 pm

Laurent...

I have no particularly strong feelings either way, however my personal opinion is that Boney became a victim of his own sucess.
In many ways, I guess he started out with good intentions (power to the people etc). The thing that frightened the politicians in this country was that in the 18th century in Great Britain, although we had a parliament, it wasnt really truly representative of the people in the way that it is today. Our house of lords was made up of the great aristocratic land owning families and a lot of the MPs in the house of commons were nominated and purchased into seats by patrons in the lords... not very democratic at all.

The Politicians in Great Britain didnt fear Boney himself, but what he stood for, the removal of the old order (their own).

As far as the people of Europe were initially concerned, my opinion is they probably initially thought he was a force for good-in Britain too people admired him and corresponding societies were set up where people in this country of a republican nature corresponded with members of the directory. (Charles James Fox is a good example of someone who was initially quite a fan of republican France until you lopped the head off Louis). The trouble was, as soon as Boney had tasted power, he very quickly became the thing he wanted to get rid of, eg an absolute ruler and monarch in all but name, and eventually he did become that as emperor.

In many ways our Victory at Waterloo put back the cause of Democracy, although the ironic thing is that in the UK we always paint ourselves as the place where representative goverment really began.... it took another 16 years after Waterloo before there was the political will to bring real representation to the people through he reform act of 1832... and for that , we have to thank Charles Grey...

By the way, the Americans are no cradle of democracy either. It took them until the 1960s in the deep south until Black and White could sit together on the same bus. Its amazing how they too paint themselves as some shining example of equality and liberty, isnt it.... truth is its only equality and liberty if you agree with them and do it their way.
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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby FBC-Elvas, Portugal » February 18th, 2012, 10:16 am

I don’t want to linger long outside our 1792-1815 writ but wish to comment on your last paragraph, Keith, that seems to tar every American with the same brush. States Rights is an important factor in the United States, where civil liberties can vary from state to state depending on the laws and practices of that state. Democracy is put to the test in many countries but endures nonetheless. And every country has its share of reflective citizens as well as braggarts.

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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby TheBibliophile » February 18th, 2012, 10:45 am

I dont disagree Sarah, just highlighting the double standards. Nation building is just another word for colonialism. Im not lumping all Americans into one basket.... but there is somewhere at the moment I'd like to lump Sean Penn. Nuff said!
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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby Mark » February 19th, 2012, 2:25 pm

TheBibliophile wrote:Im not lumping all Americans into one basket.... but there is somewhere at the moment I'd like to lump Sean Penn. Nuff said!


While I am no fan of Mr Penn either we need to be careful discussing living individuals and try to avoid current politics on the forum to keep us out of legal trouble ;)

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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby TheBibliophile » February 19th, 2012, 2:27 pm

Dont worry, old big mouth definitely said what he said!
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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby bif » September 25th, 2014, 7:18 pm

Just read this thread. As for as Napoleon the great or bad, I think Hendrik van Loon said it best in his book, The Story of Mankind, " Here I am sitting at a comfortable table loaded heavily with books, with one eye on my typewriter and the other on Licorice the cat, who has a great fondness for carbon paper, and I am telling you that the Emperor Napoleon was a most contemptible person. But should I happen to look out of the window, down upon Seventh Avenue, and should the endless procession of trucks and carts come to a sudden halt, and should I hear the sound of the heavy drums and see the little man on his white horse in his old and much-worn green uniform, then I don't know, but I am afraid that I would leave my books and the kitten and my home and everything else to follow him wherever he cared to lead. My own grandfather did this and Heaven knows he was not born to be a hero. Millions of other people's grandfathers did it. They received no reward, but they expected none. They cheerfully gave legs and arms and lives to serve this foreigner, who took them a thousand miles away from their homes and marched them into a barrage of Russian or English or Spanish or Italian or Austrian cannon and stared quietly into space while they were rolling in the agony of death.

If you ask me for an explanation, I must answer that I have none. I can only guess at one of the reasons. Napoleon was the greatest of actors and the whole European continent was his stage. At all times and under all circumstances he knew the precise attitude that would impress the spectators most and he understood what words would make the deepest impression. Whether he spoke in the Egyptian desert, before the backdrop of the Sphinx and the pyramids, or addressed his shivering men on the dew-soaked plains of Italy, made no difference. At all times he was master of the situation. Even at the end, an exile on a little rock in the middle of the Atlantic, a sick man at the mercy of a dull and intolerable British governor, he held the centre of the stage." When anyone asks about this question I always refer them to this "quote". Bif
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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby Andrew » September 25th, 2014, 7:44 pm

GREAT quote bif! Damn, I wish I could write like that!!!
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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby bif » September 25th, 2014, 9:36 pm

Andrew, The book by Van Loon (what a great name for a history author ! ) is available on the internet at the Gutenberg project. This is the way he writes about everyything. What i quoted is just part of his chapter on le PetitTondu. Bif
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Re: Told by a Veteran : the return of Napoleon ashes in Pari

Postby unclearthur » September 26th, 2014, 9:35 pm

Andrew wrote:GREAT quote bif! Damn, I wish I could write like that!!!


You'd probably get slagged off for over-writing. As would I.

But there again, there's that old Woodie Guthrie (I think) quote, to his audience at a gig: "I've suffered for my art - now it's your turn." 8-)
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