For my dissertation, I am hoping to look at British views or discussion on Napoleon and his early career. Likely this would primarily cover Napoleon’s 1796-7 Italian campaigns but could encompass earlier events such as the Siege of Toulon and 13 Vendemiaire and likewise later discussion on the Egyptian expedition and perhaps the coup of 18 Brumaire.
- Cruikshank, Isaac. “Buonaparte at Rome giving audience in state,” March 12, 1796. https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1868-0808-6606
A cartoon depicting the humiliation of the pope at the hand of Napoleon. Interesting for this topic as it shows how traditional anti-French views based on religion contradicted with the new reality of that the revolution had brought. Though this source focuses on the religious element it is still useful in understanding British views on the military successes of Napoleon as it should be viewed in the context of his recent victories. Therefore it is interesting that Cruikshank chose to ridicule the pope primarily though it should be said that his representation of Napoleon does not flatter him.
- “Genoa, March 21st.” The Times, April 25, 1796. https://go-gale-com.ezproxy-s2.stir.ac.uk/ps/navigateToIssue?u=unistirl&p=TTDA&mCode=0FFO&issueDate=117960425&issueNumber=3568&volume=&loadFormat=page
This section is part of a Private Correspondence section of the newspaper and features a description of the French occupation of Genoa by an anonymous author. They mention that the French troops had been ordered, “by Buonoparre, the French General in Chief.” This shows an early acknowledgement of Napoleon’s position raising him to prominence for many British readers. It is also interesting how his name is spelt which resembles his families Corsican name that they changed from Buonaparte to Bonaparte.
- Lyons, Martyn. Napoleon Bonaparte and the Legacy of the French Revolution. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press Ltd, 1994.
Lyon’s book provides a good succinct overview of Napoleon’s early career. It uses are somewhat limited in judging any British views but is useful in understanding other issues and identifying key points when Bonaparte would have been discussed in Britain.
- Semmel, Stuart. “British Uses for Napoleon.” MLN 120, no. 4 (2005): 733-746. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3840655
Semmel’s article is very useful in identifying the key issues that British discussion would have focused on in Napoleon’s career. Though he discusses at length the problems that coronation and imperial France posed for British commenters some of the issues such as the aforementioned religious problems are still pertinent to the earlier time period that I wish to look at.