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Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
(July 9, 1769 – February 7, 1834) was a French diplomat, born in Sens.

Contents

1 Biography

1.1 Friendship renewed 1.2 Private secretary and disgrace 1.3 The Hanseatic League 1.4 The restoration and the 100 days

2 The Memoirs 3 References 4 Sources 5 External links

Biography[edit] Bourrienne is famous for his Memoirs of Napoleon
Napoleon
Bonaparte,[1] a work based on years of intimate friendship and professional association. They met at the Military Academy at Brienne in Champagne when eight years old. Napoleon
Napoleon
recalled the famous snowball battles that he masterminded: “Unfortunately the pleasure did not last long, for we put stones in the snowballs, so that many boys were injured, among them my friend Bourrienne, and the game was forbidden”.[2] Typically, Napoleon
Napoleon
recalled that when they graduated in 1787 at age 15 he led in all subjects; Bourrienne recalled that Napoleon
Napoleon
led in mathematics, while he was first in all else. Friendship renewed[edit] Bonaparte continued his military studies and entered the army. Bourrienne prepared for a diplomatic career, studying in Vienna and then at Leipzig. Appointed Secretary of the Legation at Stuttgart he remained there during the first years of the French Revolution, flouting orders to return. He did not come home until the spring of 1792, so his name was on the list of emigrants, a potentially dangerous classification. Reunited with Bonaparte in Paris, they enjoyed bachelor life together, and among other incidents of that exciting time were horrified witnessing the rabble mobbing the royal family in the Tuileries
Tuileries
(June 20) and the massacre of the Swiss Guards at the same spot (August 10). After that Bourrienne returned to his family home in Sens. Following the affair of 13 Vendémiaire
13 Vendémiaire
(October 5, 1795) he moved back to Paris and again associated with Bonaparte, who was then second in command of the Army of the Interior and who soon left to command the Army of Italy. The spectacularly victorious general urgently summoned Bourrienne to Italy for the long negotiations with Austria (May–October 1797), where his knowledge of law and diplomacy was useful in drafting the terms of the Treaty of Campo Formio
Campo Formio
(October 7). Bourrienne recognized that his friend was likely to become a major historical figure, so he began making notes and filing copies of pertinent documents. In November 1797 his name was removed from the list of emigrants. Private secretary and disgrace[edit] The following year he accompanied Bonaparte to Egypt as his private secretary. Later Bourrienne strongly defended the controversial decisions at Jaffa to euthanize the French plague victims and to bayonet the Turkish prisoners who had violated parole. They returned together on the adventurous voyage to Fréjus (September–October 1799), and Bourrienne helped in the parleys that led up to the coup d'état of Brumaire (November) 1799. Then they worked on the Constitution of the Year VIII, which made Bonaparte First Consul for ten years. Almost every day he arrived at 7 AM to work side by side with Bonaparte, often going on to 10 PM. Bourrienne left to become head of the police, but soon was recalled because Bonaparte needed him. He remained in Paris during the second Italian campaign, after which he watched with admiration as his friend continued to organize France
France
so that it would be governed effectively under clearly codified laws by the talented men he brought into the government. As Bonaparte progressed to become Consul for Life Bourrienne recorded— with a mix of admiration and apprehension—his skilled maneuvers to clench power and to enrich his family. In the autumn of 1802 Bonaparte started to ease him out, after a few uncertain weeks firing him without stating a cause. Most likely Bonaparte was revolted by his financial speculations. They never talked together again. Bourrienne was in disgrace. The Hanseatic League[edit] In the spring of 1805 he was appointed French Consul to the free city of Hamburg, the leading city of the Hanseatic League.[3] He was supposed to enforce the measures for the commercial war against England, known as the Continental System, but was convinced that cutting off trade hurt Europe more than Britain. His unanswered letters did not persuade the Emperor Napoleon
Napoleon
to change his policy. In the early spring of 1807, when directed to provide a large number of military cloaks for the army in East Prussia, he procured them secretly and expeditiously from England. He was recalled to France
France
in 1810 when, to his regret, the Hanseatic towns were incorporated into the Empire. He had made a fortune in Hamburg. The restoration and the 100 days[edit] In 1814 the victorious Allied Armies occupied Paris. Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord headed a Provisional Government in which Bourrienne was appointed head of the Post Office, which was also responsible for secretly transcribing suspect's letters. He participated in the meetings with the Tsar and other Allied leaders that led to the Bourbon restoration. The returning Louis XVIII received him warmly, nevertheless he promptly lost his position. When Napoleon
Napoleon
escaped from Elba Bourrienne was appointed Prefect of Police. Napoleon
Napoleon
issued an amnesty for all but thirteen individuals; one of them was Bourrienne. He spent the Hundred Days (1815) with Louis XVIII in Ghent. After that he did not play a notable part in public affairs. In 1830 he published his book and that revolution cost him his fortune. He died at Caen
Caen
on February 7, 1834, after spending two years in an asylum. The Memoirs[edit] His book gives a vivid, intimate, detailed account of his interactions with Napoleon
Napoleon
and his mother, brothers and sisters; with his first wife Joséphine de Beauharnais
Joséphine de Beauharnais
and her children; with notable French politicians; and with the marshals, he was especially friendly with Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte
Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte
the future King of Sweden when they both were in Northern Germany. His narrative is invigorated by many dialogues, not only of those in which he was a speaker but even of conversations that he only was told about by others. Their exactitude may be suspect but surely they give a memorable portrait of his times. Many judgments are supported by quotes from his stockpile of documents. Naturally his narration is colored by his complicated relationship with his subject: close friendship, working together intimately for years, followed by dismissal and humiliating rejection. He tries to be balanced and gives many examples of Napoleon’s brilliance, his skill at governance, and his deft political maneuvers, while deploring his inexorable grabs for personal and familial power and wealth, his willingness to sacrifice French lives, and his abhorrence of a free press. Military campaigns are left for professional judges. One of his bombshells is the claim that the Grand Army based at Boulogne was never meant to invade England, too chancy an enterprise: it was a diversion to keep British forces at home. Of course the book infuriated devoted Bonapartists; two volumes of criticisms were published promptly to attack his credibility.[4] Controversy was still raging half a century later.[5] His book is not a source in which to check particular facts, but as Goethe
Goethe
wrote: “All of the nimbus, all of the illusions, with which journalists and historians have surrounded Napoleon, vanishes before the awe-inspiring realisms of this book…”.[6] References[edit]

^ , Mémoires de M. de Bourrienne, ministre d'etat sur Napoleon, le directoire, le consulat, l'empire et la restauration : avec des notes ajoutees des mémoires de Napolean écrits á St. Hélène, des mémoires du duc de Rovigo, de celles du general Rapp, de Constant, et des plusieurs autres sources authentiques. Paris: Colburn et Bentley, 1831, 10 volumes; Memoirs of Napoleon
Napoleon
Bonaparte by M. de Bourrienne, his private secretary ; to which are now first added, an account of the important events of the hundred days, of Napoleon's surrender to the English, and of his residence and death at St. Helena ; with anecdotes and illustrative notes from all the most authentic sources. London: R. Bentley, 1836, 4 volumes; Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte / by Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, his private secretary, edited by R. W. Phipps, London : Richard Bentley, 1885, 3 volumes ^ Kircheisen, F. M. Memoirs of Napoleon
Napoleon
I compiled from his own writings. London: Hutchinson 1929, p. 14. ^ Servières, Georges, "Le rôle de Bourriene a Hambourg (1805-1810)" Revue Historique Vol.84, 1904, pp.225-251, ^ Belliard, General Gourgaud and eleven others, Bourrienne et ses erreurs, volontaires et involontaires, Paris: Charles Heideloff, 1830. ^ Bonaparte, Napoléon-Joseph-Charles-Paul, Prince, Napoleon
Napoleon
et ses détracteurs. Paris: Calmann Lévy, 1887.; His Imperial Highness Prince Napoleon, Napoleon
Napoleon
and his detractors translated and edited by Raphael Ledos de Beaufort, London: W H Allen and Co, 1888. ^ Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, Letter to G. F. v. Reinhard, 18 June 1829, Goethes Briefe, vol 45, Weimar: Hermann Böhlaus Nachfolger, 1908.

Sources[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bourrienne, Louis Antoine Fauvelet de". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]

Works by Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
at Internet Archive Works by Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne
at LibriVox
LibriVox
(public domain audiobooks)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 73902821 LCCN: n92117573 ISNI: 0000 0001 1193 4755 GND: 12180609X SUDOC: 030759277 BNF: cb122110785 (data) NLA: 48221193 NDL: 00541289 NKC: mzk2009528305 Léonore: LH/334

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