In this, the fourth volume of the work, William Hazlitt takes us through the great turning point in Napoleon's life: his invasion of Russia. He shows us the situation in Europe at that time: England controlling the sea, France controlling the land, and only Russia left as a land-based threat to France. He also explores the changes in Napoleon's life and mind: his divorce from Josephine, his marriage to Maria Louisa, his friendship with Emperor Alexander...a friendship that turned to deep enmity.
William Hazlitt was an English writer remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism. He is considered one of the greatest critics and essayists in English and is placed by literary historians in the same company as Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. This essay is considered by most critics to be the best short explanation of the nature and importance of poetry evey written.
In this, the fifth volume of the work, William Hazlitt takes us through Napoleon's fall from power. He shows us the situation in Europe at that time: England controlling the sea, and England, Austria, Russia, and Prussia massed on the borders of France, ready to consummate their 25-year struggle to restore the Bourbon monarchy. Nor were these the only enemies confronting Napoleon.
In this, the third volume of the work, William Hazlitt takes us through the a critical period in Napoleon's life: his leadership of France as first consul. He shows us how the political developments of the time coincided with Napoleon's personal development, the experiences that convinced him that France needed a new leader, and how he came to believe that he himself was that leader. This volume ends with the greatest transition of all, from first consul to emperor.
William Hazlitt is one of the foremost writers of the English language. His fame as a critic, essayist, and social commentator ranks with the likes of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell. He considered his justly famous Life of Napoleon as his most important work. In this, the first volume of the work, William Hazlitt devotes the vast majority of the work to the vital historical background: Napoleon's family; the history of Corsica; where he grew up, as it affected him and his family; and, above all, the history of the French Revolution up to the siege of Toulon.
In this, the second volume of the work, William Hazlitt takes us through the history of Napoleon's campaigns in Italy and Egypt. In the course of these campaigns, and in Napoleon's life in Paris between them, we can see a young, brilliant military leader starting to transform himself from a leader of armies into a leader of nations. His brilliant successes on the battlefield bring him to the adoring attention of the French people and the rather alarmed attention of the French government.
This is an essay from the Favorite Essays collection.