Volume 4 of a 4 volume set. 1815-1840
A work based on years of intimate friendship and professional association. This book gives a vivid, intimate, detailed account of his interactions with Napoleon and his mother, brothers and sisters; with his first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais and her children; with notable French politicians; and with the marshals, he was especially friendly with Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte the future King of Sweden when they both were in Northern Germany. His narrative is invigorated by many dialogues, not only of those in which he was a speaker but even of conversations that he only was told about by others. Their exactitude may be suspect but surely they give a memorable portrait of his times. Many judgments are supported by quotes from his stockpile of documents. Naturally his narration is colored by his complicated relationship with his subject: close friendship, working together intimately for years, followed by dismissal and humiliating rejection. He tries to be balanced and gives many examples of Napoleon's brilliance, his skill at governance, and his deft political maneuvers, while deploring his inexorable grabs for personal and familial power and wealth, his willingness to sacrifice French lives, and his abhorrence of a free press. Military campaigns are left for professional judges.
Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte Vol 4
1891 Charles Scribner's Sons NY