July 8, 2007 cameron

Transcripts of the Napoleon 101 podcast now available

We have partnered with a London-based company called Pods in Print to provide written transcriptions of the Napoleon 101 podcast starting at this stage from episode #21. Access to the transcripts requires a subscription. It’s US$12.95 for one month or $120 a year. Check them out here.

Comments (4)

  1. Cameron and David,
    I discovered your podcast about two weeks ago and have listened to all 24 episodes, read through the postings, ordered Napoleon for Dummies, voted at iTunes, and am now eagerly awaiting the next episode. I appreciate the light you guys are shedding on a major historical figure largely depicted as a ridiculous caricature or demonized by the English. I’m an American (temporarily living in Germany) married to a British- American, and like David, love to visit the UK. And you could say it was Wellington himself, or rather that superb collection of art at Apsley House in London that piqued my interest in Napoleon and led to discovering your podcasts. The Principal Staircase of Apsley House contains a rather impressive Canova marble statue of Napoleon depicted as Mars the Peacemaker. Well, why not? It’s colossal and it’s nude, and one can only wonder how Wellington regarded this in-your-face gift from a grateful Prince Regent.

    The English Heritage guidebook reads, “Commissioned by Napoleon during his period as First Consul, Canova sought to emulate the example of antique emperors, who were shown as gods in ideal nude form. Canova’s sculpture was carved from a single block, with the exception of the left arm, and was finished in Rome in 1806. But it did not arrive in Paris until 1811, by which time Napoleon was Emperor. By then in his early forties, he preferred a more modest self-image. Declaring it to be ‘trop athletique’, Napoleon insisted Canova’s masterpiece remain covered up in the Louvre. After Waterloo, Canova endeavored to buy the sculpture back but in 1816 the British Government bought it for 66,000 francs and the Prince Regent (later King George IV) presented it to the Duke of Wellington. Wellington could hardly refuse such a gift. He admired Napoleon and acquired several portraits of him.”

    But the statue was so heavy Wellington had to have the floor reinforced to support the Emperor’s weight. And indeed there are several paintings of Napoleon and various family members in the collection as well as some excellent depictions of Waterloo. In the audio guide tour the current Duke relates his own experiences growing up in the house and sliding down the circular banister around this multi-story tribute to Napoleon the Peacemaker.

    If I may, I’d like to offer some personal opinions of the highs and lows of the series to date as feedback.

    Lows: Cameron’s references to the Rothschilds could have been expressed better, and I want to thank Stan Goldstein for his comments and for Cameron’s clarifications in the posts. Good example of a civil exchange of views. And I’m still in awe over visiting Portsmouth nearly a year ago and was disappointed in Cam’s sniggering over the Nelson Hardy Kismet, Kiss me exchange. I mean, it’s hard enough for English historians to be left with, “Drink, drink, Fan, fan, Rub, rub,” without rubbing it in, Cam! BTW, I believe Hardy was a relative of Thomas Hardy the poet and author.

    Highs: Any references to art you guys include and the photos and artwork uploaded to the blog site….living in Europe I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to visit these sites, and can’t wait to see Malmaison the next time in Paris. Cam’s photos of the place were a great treat. And the Stoddard book! Green with envy. And I especially want to thank Antonio and Maria’s comments posted mostly in the Peninsular War episodes. Impressed with their command of English and loved reading their perspectives. But I think the most enjoyable comments had to do with Trafalgar “not being that important.” Still makes me chuckle.

    Well, I’m currently on the 4th book of the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin series and wondering if I’ll finish the 20th book in the series before you guys get to Elba. But please, take all the time you need. And whether the next series is Caesar, Alexander, or Churchill….sign me up.

    Sally Sharpe

  2. Cameron

    Wow, Sally! 24 hours of Napoleon in two weeks? That’s insane! Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment and all of the feedback. I deny that I “sniggered” over the Kiss Me Hardy comment! I was just reading from Wikipedia!!! But in light of your positive comments, I guess I can cop that one on the chin!

  3. Sally,

    I’ve never met you but I’m in love! Anyone who can listen to 24 hours of me in a couple of weeks deserves a medal! You’ll certainly see a reduced exposure, as there is no way we can match that pace!

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I’ll try to send Cameron some more art from my collection that we can put up for you to enjoy.

    I was just in Germany; where are you living and why? Its a neat country. We really enjoyed Dresden and Berlin, and a few other places as well.



  4. David,
    Yes, it was a pretty intense 2 weeks and at one point I wondered if all that squeaking was some sort of subliminal messaging to stay tuned, but no, the topic is worth the obsession. As to Germany…we both work for a company that transferred us here about two years ago from northern California. We’re in the Weinstrasse area, Rheinland Pfalz, in between Mannheim and Kaiserslautern, about two hours from the French border, an area that has seen its share of French rule and influence. Napoleon has received a lot of interest in the German press this year which also influenced my discovery of you guys. Haven’t made it to Berlin or Dresden yet, but they’re both on a long list. Sorry to hear you’ve given up teaching, or rather, it’s a sad state for your students, but our gain. Thanks for the art contributions. I’ve signed up for a Canova conference in London late September where Josephine’s Malmaison collection from St. Petersberg is also on display at the Courtauld right now. Can’t wait.

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