National Geographic : 1982 May
Members Forum NAPOLEON I have traveled the pages of Catton, Churchill, Parkman, Morison, Manchester, and others, but have seldom read as thrilling an account of a man and an epoch as that of your essay "Napoleon" (February 1982). I enjoyed every line. Somehow the military monster became a human being. George Bleasby New Wilmington, Pennsylvania In the article you stated that Napoleon, like Charlemagne, summoned the pope to preside at his coronation. Charlemagne did not summon the pope. Instead, he went to Rome and was crowned by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day, A.D. 800, in St. Peter's Basilica. William E. Watson IV Narberth, Pennsylvania Charlemagnedid summon the pope to crown him, but in Rome, not Paris. We regret any ambiguity from necessary condensing of the information. Your facts were a bit confused. In the caption of the picture of the Isle of Elba, you said that Na poleon was in exile at Elba for ten months. He was only there for three. These months are usual ly referred to as Napoleon's Hundred Days. Joseph Silber Venice, California Napoleon arrivedon Elba in early May 1814 and departed in late February 1815. The Hundred Days refers to the periodbetween his returnfrom exile and his defeat at Waterloo, althoughthispe riod also exceeded 100 days. Napoleon has fascinated a great many people for a lifetime-including me. Your "Napoleon" is beautifully written and imaginatively illustrat ed. The caption people, however, made a boo boo in the key to the coronation painting. Pauline and Elisa Bonaparte were the unidentified train bearers for Josephine. John Maass Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Identificationsfor the David painting were pro vided by the Louvre. The museum gives the train bearersas Mme de La Rochefoucauld and Mme de La Valette.