Napoleon Book Partly Basis For Book Of Mormon?

A couple of Canadian whizzkids recently released the results of a breakthrough textual analysis they did on The Book Of Mormon and highlighted the books they believe LDS founder Joseph Smith used as inspiration when he wrote the book (Mormons, of course, believed he magically translated it from hieroglyphics on ancient golden plates, left by ancient Jews who arrived in North America before the Native Americans, using two magic stones… but that’s another story).

Now this is fascinating news in its own right. But what’s even more of interest to us is that one of the books they claimed he used was a book written in 1809 about Napoleon!

It’s a book I confess I’ve never heard of before – “The First Book of Napoleon, the Tyrant of the Earth: Written in the 5813th Year of the World” by Modeste Gruau who, it seems from the little information I’ve been able to find out about him, was only fourteen years old when he wrote it.

According to this Wikipedia page (translated from the French by Google), Modeste Gruau de La Barre, born in La Chartre-sur-le-Loir on 25  March  1795,  is known for being loyal to Karl-Wilhelm Naundorff, a Prussian watchmaker, who claimed to be the real Louis XVII .

Anyway, back to the book. It is written in the style of the King James Bible and tells the story of “the Tyrant Napoleon” in dramatic style. You can read the whole thing, thanks to and Google Books, but here’s the opening verse. Anyone who is familiar with The Book Of Mormon (I’m married to an ex-mo and have spent lots of time in Utah) will recognise the style immediately.

The First Book of Napoleon, the Tyrant of the Earth


Has anyone heard about this book or its author before? Can anyone shed light on who he was and how he managed to write this thing at 14 years of age?

The British Are Good For Something! (Finally!)

I know, I know… the British gave us many good things in the past… like slavery and pollution and the invasions of Australia, North America, India, Africa, etc. But what have they done for us lately?

This – The British Library iPad App!

The British Library released more than 1,000 rare books in the form of a single app for the iPad last week. The titles of the books are searchable, but the individual items are viewed as high-resolution scans. The works are drawn from the library’s 19th-century collection and load individually from the network when you touch one to read it.

I just downloaded this wonderful copy of “The Memorable Battle Of Waterloo” by Christopher Kelly Esq. from 1817. Check out the first couple of pages as an example of how high res the scans are!

My Napoleon Library on Shelfari

I’m moving house at the moment and as part of the process, I’m documenting my library of books using an online tool called It also gives me an opportunity to create discussion groups around books and so I’ve created one around my Napoleonic collection (link). I think it might be an interesting tool for all of us to review Napoleonic books we’ve read. Please feel free to join and submit reviews of books you’ve enjoyed! I’ve only added one from my collection so far (David’s “Dummies” book, of course) but will be adding the rest over the next few days.

We Love To Hear From Our Listeners.

Get in touch with us!