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Napoleon’s moments of destiny

There have been more than a thousand books on the French leader but a new biography is the most authoritative

Work in progress: an unfinished portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte by Jacques-Louis David (1798). © Peter Willi/Superstock

Bonaparte: 1769-1802 by Patrice Gueniffey (tr Steven Rendall), (Harvard University Press, £29.95)

There should be no doubt about the provenance. Patrice Gueniffey is one of the few historians recognised both in France and in the wider academic world for his work on the Napoleonic era. The author of several books on the period and an editor of Napoleon’s letters, he…

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