Life of Napoleon Bonaparte by William Milligan Sloan, in Four Volumes, 1896

Sloane, William Milligan. The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte. New York: Century Co, 1896. Four volume quarto set. Handsomely bound in half red Moroccan leather and cloth boards, spines ruled and lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, and Napoleon’s bee stamped on the spines. 

Presented is William Milligan Sloane’s monumental account of Napoleon Bonaparte’s personal and military life. This large, four volume set was published in 1896 by Century Co. in New York. It is  exquisitely bound and sumptuously illustrated throughout, with several illustrations presented in color. 

Sloane’s Life of Napoleon Bonaparte was first published in the form of a serial in the Century Magazine, beginning in November of 1894. Sloan then elaborated and enlarged the series into a massive four volume set, published in 1896. This is the version we present here. 

Sloane offers a detailed four volume biography of the French military leader and Emperor. Bonaparte rose to prominence during the French Revolution and became the emperor of France in 1804 after the fall of the French monarchy in 1793. This mammoth biography details his life, both personal and professional, from his youth in the La Fere regiment, to his rise to Emperor, to his death in exile. The biography also looks at his marriage and divorce to Josephine, and marriage to Marie Louise, the great niece of the former Queen of France Marie Antoinette. 

Sloan spent many years researching Napoleon, in the libraries of this country, of Paris, and of London, and visited the scenes of the hero’s military activity. At the close of the books there is a short account of the papers of Bonaparte's boyhood and youth and portions of the French and English archives which were put at his disposal, together with a short though reasonably complete bibliography of the published books and papers of scientific value.

The project was very well received among other historians and editors in its day. “[Sloan] carries the reader in narrative over the now well-trodden path from Corsica to St. Helena, with a scholar’s precision as well as a lively interest, and in a way to dissolve the illusions and establish the facts of the Napoleonic period. In accomplishing this purpose, Professor Sloane has had the great advantage of adding to his abilities as a historian the invaluable factor of an impartial mind. He has drawn the most prominent figure of the French revolutionary times with an American perspective, entirely free from the prejudices and passions that still survive in Europe. For English readers this is the most important book yet written about Napoleon.” (C.D. Warner, et al, 1917). 

William Milligan Sloane, PHD, LHD, LLD, (1850-1928) was a professor of Latin and History at Princeton University, edited the Princeton Review, and later became the Seth Low Professor of History at Columbia University. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the 1911 president of the American Historical Association. editor of both the Political Science Quarterly and the American Historical Review.  Sloane was also founder and chairman of the United States Olympic Committee and escorted the first American Olympic team to the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens. William Sloane wrote two other books about French history, including The French War and the Revolution (1893) and The French Revolution and Religious Reform (1901). 

CONDITION: 

Very good condition. Complete four-volume quarto set. Beautifully bound in 1/2 red Moroccan leather with cloth boards. Spines are ruled and lettered in gilt, with the bee - Napoleon's symbol - on its spines. Top edge gilt. Marbled endpapers. Binding and hinges are very good, no loose or missing pages, pages are without marks, light sporadic foxing. Nicely illustrated throughout.

Book Dimensions: 12 3/8" H x 9 1/4" W x 2 1/4" D

With Slipcases: 13" H x 9 3/8" W x 5" D




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