a) What have been the major obstacles you have faced in putting a research project together?
Initially finding an area of research about Napoleon was an obstacle because there has been so much work done. I knew that I wanted to do something related to him or to the period but finding a topic that could be done without reusing other people’s work was challenging.
Another obstacle perhaps was that I found myself spending time looking at primary sources for my topic aiming to see if there was enough for the project. However, looking back now this seems like a waste of time beyond the initial search to confirm that there was enough.
b) What strategies have you adopted to overcome these obstacles?
Talking with my supervisor helped a great deal in overcoming any problems I had. Then using the Bibliography of British and Irish History Online was probably the most useful in narrowing down my topic and finding an area where I could look at. I also think that the assignments examples were very useful as both were types of essay’s that I had not attempted before.
c) What has this taught you about approaching your dissertation?
I think that it has made me aware of necessary historiography necessary in even just picking a topic. Therefore for the actual dissertation, I will need to comprehensively understand the literature available, something that I think I have begun with the proposal essay but not finished.
d) Which aspects of the 9X6 module have been the most useful in helping you get your project ready to start?
The parts covering methodology were particularly useful as it was to me personally the most difficult part to understand. Also, I think that the lecture given at the start of the module by the librarian, I think it was, was very useful in pointing me towards the subject guides page on the portal which I have been going back to throughout this module and will continue to for the rest of the dissertation I imagine.
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.
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.
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’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.
Hello everyone, I’m Cameron and I am from Shetland but currently living in Stirling. I am looking to do my dissertation on Napoleon possibly his impact on British national identity or something like that. Online teaching has been fine but the problem is more forcing myself to go outside for walks to keep my sanity that I have trouble with.