Reviews: Periodicals

Napoléon 1°: Le Magasine du Consulat et de l'Empire.

Issue number 1 (March/April 2000). (In French)

Saint Cloud, France: SFEP, bimonthly. 35 French Francs.

Napoléon 1°

Who said that the French think poorly of Napoleon? If so, even with the modern techniques of marketing, it would be necessary to be mad to try undertake an venture such as that proposed by Christian Castellani, the chief editor, to publish a bimonthly magazine, on glossy paper, at the cost of 35 F (US$ 6). I was fortunately surprised to discover the publication of the first issue of this periodical.

Napoléon 1° includes articles written by authors as prestigious as Jean Tulard, membre de l'Institut, Nicole Gotteri, Curator in Chief to the French National Archives, and Jacques Jourquin, editor in chief of the "Review Souvenir Napoléonien." The names of these historians are guarantees to the reader of seriousness of M. Castellani's venture.

This new magazine, 67 pages in length, impresses the reader with the richness of its illustrations. One finds included, not only many well-chosen illustrations, superbly reproduced from the Museums of the Army, Versailles, or Malmaison, but also precise and clear maps. As a whole the magazine seems to be quite diversified, almost a little bit too much, in my opinion. The reader goes from "Junot la tempâte" (Junot "The Tempest") to the Napoleonic Legend today, while passing through a complete study of the battles of Jena and Auerstedt. What also detracts somewhat is the decision of the editor to divide the articles such as the one on the war in Spain) into several chapters that will appear in forthcoming issues of the magazine, sort of like "to be continued with the next episode." I would have personally preferred a complete article in one issue, even if the diversity of subjects covered in each issue suffered.

But we quickly forget these restrictions after reading the articles themselves, which are always clear and precise. From the pen of Jean Tulard we relive the tremendous days of the Emperor in the Tuileries. In Napoléon 1°, number 2 (due out in May/June 2000) we will follow, day by day, Napoleon during one of his campaigns. Jean Pierre Blay recounts the Polish regiments de Chevau-légers - highlighting their honor, their dignity, and their fidelity - with great illustrations, and we await impatiently, in the next issue, Jacques Garnier's description of the regiments of cuirassiers.

Here is a complete list of the articles included in the first issue:

  • Une journée de Napoleon aux Tuileries (by Jean Tulard)
  • "Les batailles de Iena et d'Auerstedt" (by Renaud Faget)
  • "Les régiments de Chevaux-Légers Polonais" (by Jean Pierre Blay)
  • "La Légende Napoléonienne" ( by Alfred Fierro et P. F. Paoli)
  • "La guerre d'Espagne de Bayonne à Baylen" ( by J. O. Boudon)
  • "La police secrète sous le 1° Empire" (by Nicole Gotteri - Conservateur en chef aux Archives Nationales)
  • "Junot-la-tempete, le fol ami de Napoleon" (by Jacques Jourquin - Rédacteur en chef de "la revue du Souvenir Napoléonien")
  • "Marseille ou l'invention d'une cité rebelle sous le 1° Empire" (by Pierre Serna)
If you are fluent in French Napoléon 1°: Le Magasine du Consulat et de l'Empire deserves a place of choice in your Napoleonic collection. If you don't read French you still might want to purchase this for the illustrations alone.

Napoléon 1°: Le Magasine du Consulat et de l'Empire is available for 35 F.

To order contact:

Napoleon 1°
45/50 Blvd. Sénard
92210 Saint Cloud
(++ 33 ) 01 47 11 21 27
Sylvie Philippon

Reviewed by Dominique Contant



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