Hi folks, as you may have noticed, we’re moving to a new site. It’s going to take me a few days to get all of the old content up and running, so please be patient.
Last Saturday, Chrissy and I had the pleasure of attending the opening day of “NAPOLEON : REVOLUTION TO EMPIRE” at the National Gallery of Victoria. I have to say – I was very impressed. The exhibition takes visitors from the last days of Louis XVI, through the Revolution, Reign of Terror, Consulate, Empire and St Helena. I thought they did a great job encapsulating Napoleon’s life and career. There are some major works, one of his bicornes from St Helena, uniforms, copies of the Code Napoleon, and much, much more. I will be recording an interview with one of the Curators of the exhibition this week and will have it online soon. If any of you have the chance to attend the exhibition (it runs until Oct 7), I recommend it highly!
The NGV in Melbourne (my old hometown) is running”>a major Napoleon exhibition in Melbourne starting June 2012. Amazingly, neither David nor I have been invited to participate! I am going to reach out to the curator though and try to get an interview with them about the exhibition.
Napoleon: Revolution to Empire is a panoramic exhibition examining French art, culture and life from the 1770s to the 1820s. Its story runs from the first French voyages of discovery to Australia during the reign of Louis XV to the end of Napoleon’s transforming leadership as first Emperor of France. Exhibition organised with Fondation Napoléon, Paris. Co-curator: Karine Huguenaud, Chargée des Collections, Fondation Napoléon
From The Guardian:
Why simply take your children to pose with Mickey Mouse when they could be re-enacting the battle of Trafalgar in a giant aquarium – or dry-skiing past frozen corpses from Napoleon’s desperate retreat from Russia?
A French MP has laid down the gauntlet for a new generation of history-themed mega-rollercoasters with plans for Europe’s first theme-park based on the French general and emperor Napoleon.
I know I’ll definitely be making a visit to this place if it gets off the ground. Hopefully they will be selling the DVD pack of this podcast in their gift shop?
It’s not about Napoleon though.
The book is called “The Three Illusions” and it looks at science and philosophy. It’s my guide for living with what I call “permanent peace” and the philosophy in it has been the basis of how I’ve lived my life for the last 20 or so years.
Thanks for the folks who have proof read it for me over the last six months and given me notes, including Chrissy, Tony Kynaston and Russell Buckley.
For those of you without an iPad or iPhone or Kindle device, you can download the Kindle app for PC or Mac for free from Amazon’s site. I do plan to publish the book in paperback at some stage in the future.
Napoleonic soldiers’ remains found in northern Poland
Archaeologists believe that the remains of soldiers who died after Napoleon’s doomed march on Moscow have been found during the creation of a new bypass at Olecko, north east Poland.
The skeletons of some 350 people were discovered in the forgotten graveyard, after woodland was cut back to lay the new road.
“Analysis of the bones of several men buried there shows changes characteristic of people who rode on horseback for much of their lives,” archaeologist Hubert Augustyniak told the Polish Press Agency.
About half of those buried were children, and experts believe that they were from the local village. Tests confirm that the villagers suffered from a poor diet and were exposed to hard labour.
A number of coins minted between the years 1710 and 1842 was also found at the site, as well as some jewellery and an iron cross.
It is believed that the soldiers’ uniforms were stolen.
Some 400,000 French troops – many of them Poles hoping for the complete rebirth of their country – are estimated to have died during Napoleon’s Moscow campaign.
Napoleon had created the so-called Duchy of Warsaw in 1807, and called the 1812 war his “second Polish campaign.”
However, the retreat from the Russian capital in the winter of 1812/1813 left victims strewn across much of Eastern Europe.
The defeat marked the beginning of the end both for Bonaparte and the empire that he had created.
Thanks to Jon for pointing us to this comic in the comments section!
Click on the comic to read more about it and to visit the author’s site!
Napoleon’s height is, of course, one of the things most people know about him. David and I discussed the matter in our very first episode of this podcast.
Remember Michael Kroger from Episode #49? It looks like he just sold off his Napoleonic collection.
“At an auction in the shadow of the grand Chateau de Fontainebleau outside Paris yesterday, the Michael Kroger Collection, including imperial eagles, towering bronze candelabra, antique clocks, vases, paintings, chairs, sideboards, gilt mirrors and military paraphernalia, went under the hammer, raising more than $500,000 for the businessman.”
The article briefly mentions this podcast but neglects to mention it by title or provide a link. Typical!
Somebody just sent me a link to this story… it’s obviously complete bullshit, as Napoleon’s remains (to the best of my knowledge) haven’t been exhumed since they were removed to Paris from St Helena in 1840. But it’s a fun read nonetheless!
PARIS – Scientists examining the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte admit they are “deeply puzzled” by the discovery of a half-inch long microchip embedded in his skull.
They say the mysterious object could be an alien implant – suggesting that the French emperor was once abducted by a UFO!
“The possible ramifications of this discovery are almost too enormous to comprehend,” declared Dr. Andre Dubois, who made the astonishing revelation in a French medical journal.
“Until now, every indication has been that victims of alien abduction are ordinary people who play no role in world events.
“Now we have compelling evidence that extraterrestrials acted in the past to influence human history – and may continue to do so!”
Dr. Dubois made the amazing find while studying Napoleon’s exhumed skeleton on a $140,000 grant from the French government.
“I was hoping to learn whether he suffered from a pituitary disorder that contributed to his small stature,” he explained.
But instead the researcher found something far more extraordinary: “As I examined the interior of the skull, my hand brushed across a tiny protrusion.
“I then looked at the area under a magnifying glass – and was stunned to find that the object was some kind of super-advanced microchip.”
From the extent of bone growth around the chip, the expert believes it was implanted when Bonaparte was young.
“Napoleon vanished from sight for a period of several days in July 1794, when he was 25. He later claimed he’d been held prisoner during the Themidorian coup – but no record of that arrest exists. I believe that is when the abduction took place.”
From that time on, Napoleon’s rise was meteoric. By the next year, he’d been put in charge of the French army in Italy.
Miraculously, he was able to transform starving, rag-tag troops into a top-notch fighting force and to crush the Italians.
In 1804, after a string of startling victories, the pint-size general crowned himself emperor of France – and his empire soon expanded to include what is now Germany and Austria, as well as Switzerland, Italy and Denmark.
“Napoleon used military strategies more than a hundred years ahead of his time,” said Dr. Dubois. “Perhaps the implant somehow enhanced his abilities.”
The implant could also explain Napoleon’s famous habit of holding his hand over his heart, he added.
“It’s possible that the device affected the electrical signals from his brain to his heart.”
By the time of his defeat by the British at Waterloo in 1815, Napoleon had altered the face of Europe.
“What Western history would have been like had the aliens not intervened, we can only guess,” observed Dr. Dubois. “Thus we cannot know whether they acted to help mankind or harm us.”