Situation des armées (1)

Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire de France en 1815: avec le plan de la bataille de Mont-Saint-Jean
Paris: Chez Barrois l’ainé, 1820
VI.8.30, left-hand plate between pp. 124 and 125

Here we see the fashioning of an alternative history for the Waterloo campaign. The numbers on this apparently objective sheet calculating the strength of the French forces after the actions at Quatre Bras and Ligny downplay the forces at the Emperor’s disposal. In the version given in the Mémoires, supposedly derived from Napoleon’s circle in exile on St Helena and carried back to Europe by his first personal physician on the Island, Barry Edward O’Meara, the Emperor is presented as a heroic, tragic figure, struggling against heavy odds.

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