Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Portrait of Emperor Napoleon I

Portrait of Emperor Napoleon I by François Gérard (1815)
via My Daily Art Display

Why Napoleon? Because suddenly he is in the background of my reading life in a weird way.

I have read half of War and Peace. The "war" part of that book is about Russia's part in the Napoleonic wars. At several points Napoleon is a character, actively influencing the young men whose stories we're following.

Now I'm taking a break from War and Peace. I've picked up The Count of Monte Cristo which I have been interested in rereading for a long time (sparked by my desire to rewatch the 2002 movie with Jim Caviezel). A key point of the book hinges on Napoleon being on Elba and the political struggles between royalists and Napoleonic supporters. So here we are again. Me and the Emperor.

Finally, I have begun listening to How to Eat an Elephant's series closely reading Les Miserables. Here we have a priest having a chance encounter with Napoleon which changes the trajectory of his life. We also have the Battle of Waterloo, which has an encounter that is key to characters later in the story. I've read the book before and won't be rereading it, but I am enjoying listening to the conversation about it. So, the Emperor is lurking in the background here and there again.

Very odd.

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