The history of Europe from 1807 to 1812, between Tilsit and Moscow, was dominated by the efforts of Napoleon to assure by a permanent peace with England the stability of his Empire and the repose of the world. To attain this end, the principal political means which he employed, at two decisive epochs in his career, were the Russian alliance and the Austrian marriage. From his headquarters in Poland, several weeks after Eylau, he wrote Talleyrand: "The tranquility of Europe will never be established until France and Austria, or France and Russia, march together." At that time he had no system, but only an end in view: to conquer England, and thus assure a general peace. Of all the great Powers, Russia then seemed to him the best placed to aid him in this task by her geographical position, and the immensity of her resources. If the entente established at Tilsit had been consolidated and perpetuated, it is probable that England would have given up the struggle, and that his object would have been attained. The rupture with Russia, to which the Austrian alliance directly led, revived the almost extinct coalition, drew Napoleon into disastrous enterprises, and ended in his downfall. In a former volume, the legend of Josephine was considered, and an attempt was made to substitute for it the truth of History. In the presence of the legend of Marie-Louise, the object is the same. For more than a century the Austrian Archduchess has been an object of detestation in France, and of contempt throughout the world. But we must remember that Marie-Louise was a German by birth and race, and that her stay in France was too short to enable her to change her tastes and her sympathies. She always felt herself an exile and a stranger in her adopted country. Our theme is the Austrian marriage and its effect on the Russian alliance : these two events determined the fate of Napoleon.

This is part 2 of 2 books by Geer.  Get both for $25.


Napoleon and Marie Louise: The fall of the empire

  • 1925 Brentano's NY

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