The Life of Napoleon: Volume 6

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: William Hazlitt

Narrated By: Robert Bethune

Publisher: Freshwater Seas

Date: November 2016

Duration: 4 hours 16 minutes

Summary:

William Hazlitt is one of the foremost writers of the English language. His fame as a critic, essayist and social commentator ranks with the likes of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. He considered his justly famous Life of Napoleon as his most important work.

In this, the sixth volume of the work, William Hazlitt takes us through his fall from power. He shows us how the situation of Europe at that time: England controlling the sea, England, Austria, Russia and Prussia massed on the borders of France, ready to consummate their twenty-five year struggle to restore the Bourbon monarchy. Nor were these the only enemies confronting Napoleon. Many of his own countrymen were ready to turn their backs on him, now that his aura of invincibility was at an end, destroyed by the disastrous campaign in Russia and further defeats in Europe. Hazlitt brings us to the great climax of the tragedy, the battle of Waterloo, and then follows Napoleon as he casts himself on the mercy of the English and finds himself transported to St. Helena.

Hazlitt was a life-long admirer of Napoleon and of the French Revolution, but his admiration was not blind. His analysis is both passionate and clear-sighted. At this stage in Napoleon's career, he focuses more on the great events, less on the man and his mind. It is an appropriate focus; at this stage in his life, Napoleon's whole existence was wrapped up in those great events, his personal life was submerged in them.

Hazlitt sometimes transcends and sometimes falls victim to the prevailing attitudes of his day. His thinking sometimes juxtaposes highly progressive ideas with casual bigotry. His text has been left as he wrote it; it is valuable to hear and remember that even great minds have held ideas we prefer to think we have overcome.

The Life of Napoleon was originally published in four volumes in 1828-1830, not long before Hazlitt's death. It was later republished in a limited edition of six volumes by the Grolier Society. This audiobook is based on that edition.of Napoleon as his most important work.

William Hazlitt is one of the foremost writers of the English language. His fame as a critic, essayist and social commentator ranks with the likes of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. He considered his justly famous Life of Napoleon as his most important work.

In this, the fifth volume of the work, William Hazlitt takes us through Napoleon's captivity on the island of St. Helena, his decline and his death. Napoleon is no longer involved in the great affairs of France and Europe, which gives Hazlitt the opportunity to focus as never before on Napoleon the man. We see the Emperor who once battled the combined nations of Europe engaged in constant war against the petty tyranny of the English governor of the island while preparing his memoirs and longing for his family, who were never allowed to visit him. In the end, death claims him.

Hazlitt was a life-long admirer of Napoleon and of the French Revolution, but his admiration was not blind. His analysis is both passionate and clear-sighted. At this stage in Napoleon's career, he focuses more on the great events, less on the man and his mind. It is an appropriate focus; at this stage in his life, Napoleon's whole existence was wrapped up in those great events, his personal life was submerged in them.

Hazlitt sometimes transcends and sometimes falls victim to the prevailing attitudes of his day. His thinking sometimes juxtaposes highly progressive ideas with casual bigotry. His text has been left as he wrote it; it is valuable to hear and remember that even great minds have held ideas we prefer to think we have overcome.

The Life of Napoleon was originally published in four volumes in 1828-1830, not long before Hazlitt's death. It was later republished in a limited edition of six volumes by the Grolier Society. This audiobook is based on that edition.

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