Cultural depictions of Napoleon

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Napoleon is often represented in his green colonel uniform of the Chasseur a Cheval, with a large bicorne and a hand-in-waistcoat gesture. Napoleon in 1806.PNG
Napoleon is often represented in his green colonel uniform of the Chasseur à Cheval, with a large bicorne and a hand-in-waistcoat gesture.
A French Empire mantel clock representing Mars and Venus, an allegory of the wedding of Napoleon I and Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria. By the famous bronzier Pierre-Philippe Thomire, ca. 1810. Clock Thomire Louvre OA9511.jpg
A French Empire mantel clock representing Mars and Venus, an allegory of the wedding of Napoleon I and Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria. By the famous bronzier Pierre-Philippe Thomire, ca. 1810.
Celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Napoleon Bonaparte involving historical reenactment groups in uniforms from the Napoleonic period on Napoleon Hill in Szczecin (Poland), 2008 Szczecin Wzgorze Napoleona (1).jpg
Celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Napoleon Bonaparte involving historical reenactment groups in uniforms from the Napoleonic period on Napoleon Hill in Szczecin (Poland), 2008

Napoleon I , Emperor of the French, has become a worldwide cultural icon generally associated with tactical brilliance, ambition and political power. His distinctive features and costume have made him a very recognizable figure in popular culture.

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He has been portrayed in many works of fiction, his depiction varying greatly with the author's perception of the historical character. In the 1927 film Napoleon , young general Bonaparte is portrayed as a heroic visionary. On the other hand, he has been occasionally reduced to a stock character, depicted as short and bossy, sometimes comically so.

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Books

Computer and video games

Culinary

Film and television

Film

Television

SEE ALSO: Napoléon Bonaparte (Character) on IMDb

Geography

Hotels and Hospitality

Military

Music and Songs

Ornithology

Theatre

Napoleon's height

A caricature depicting a diminutive Napoleon Evacuation of Malta.jpg
A caricature depicting a diminutive Napoleon

British propaganda of the time depicted Napoleon as of smaller than average height and the image of him as a small man persists in modern Britain. [7] Confusion has sometimes arisen because of different values for the French inch (pouce) of the time (2.7 cm) and for the Imperial inch (2.54 cm).; [8] he has been cited as being from 1.57 metres (5 ft 2 in), which made him the height of the average French male at that time, [9] and up to 1.7 metres (5 ft 7 in) tall, which is above average for the period [note 1] [11] Some historians believe that the reason for the mistake about his size at death came from use of an obsolete French yardstick. [9] Napoleon was a champion of the metric system (introduced in France in 1799) and had no use for the old yardsticks. It is more likely that he was 1.57 metres (5 ft 2 in), the height he was measured at on St. Helena (a British island), since he would have most likely been measured with an English yardstick rather than a yardstick of the Old French Regime. [9]

Napoleon's nickname of le petit caporal has added to the confusion, as some non-Francophones have mistakenly interpreted petit by its literal meaning of "small". In fact, it is an affectionate term reflecting on his camaraderie with ordinary soldiers. Napoleon also surrounded himself with the soldiers of his elite guard, required to be 1.83 m (6 ft) or taller, making him look smaller in comparison.

Napoleon's name has been lent to the Napoleon complex, a colloquial term describing an alleged type of inferiority complex which is said to affect some people who are physically short. The term is used more generally to describe people who are driven by a perceived handicap to overcompensate in other aspects of their lives. [12]

The Napoleon Delusion

Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most famous individuals in the Western world. As delusional patients sometimes believe themselves to be an important or grandiose figure (see delusion), a patient claiming to be Napoleon has been a common stereotype in popular culture for delusions of this nature.

This cliché has itself been parodied:

Notes

  1. Napoleon's height was 5 ft 2 French inches according to Antommarchi at Napoleon's autopsy and British sources put his height at 5 foot and 4 British inches: both equivalent to 1.4 m. [10] Napoleon surrounded himself with tall bodyguards and had a nickname of le petit caporal which was an affectionate term that reflected his reported camaraderie with his soldiers rather than his height.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Daniel D. McGarry, Sarah Harriman White, Historical Fiction Guide: Annotated Chronological, Geographical, and Topical List of Five Thousand Selected Historical Novels. Scarecrow Press, New York, 1963 (p.255-270)
  2. Gladir, George  (w),  Ruiz, Fernando  (p),  Lapick, Rudy  (i),  Grossman, Barry  (col),  Yoshida, Bill  (let),  Goldwater, Richard  (ed). "Hungry Hurried and Harried"Jughead 338(Feb 1985),Archie Comics Group
  3. Gladir, George  (w),  Ruiz, Fernando  (p),  Lapick, Rudy  (i),  Grossman, Barry  (col),  Yoshida, Bill  (let),  Goldwater, Richard  (ed). "Hungry Hurried and Harried"Jughead's Double Digest Magazine 90:37–42/6(Jan 2003),Archie Comic Publications, ISSN   1061-5482
  4. "Things named after Napoleon" commons.wikimedia.org
  5. "Monuments and memorials to Napoleon I of France" commons.wikimedia.org
  6. "Bogeyman Archived 2007-06-09 at the Wayback Machine ", "Period glossary", Napoleon.org . Retrieved 07-03-2007.
  7. Napoleon's height was put at just over 5 pieds 2 pouces by three French sources (his valet Constant, General Gourgaud, and Francesco Antommarchi at Napoleon's autopsy) which, using the French measurements of the time, equals around 1.69m. ( "La taille de Napoléon Bonaparte (Napoleon Bonaparte's height)". www.1789-1815.com. 2002-11-25. Retrieved 2008-05-28.) Two English sources (Andrew Darling and John Foster) put his height at around 5 ft 7 ins, equivalent, on the Imperial scale, to 1.70m. This would have made him around average height for a Frenchman of the time. ( "La taille de Napoléon (Napoleon's height)". La Fondation Napoléon. Retrieved 2008-05-30. "How tall was Napoleon?". La Fondation Napoléon. Retrieved 2005-12-18.) Nonetheless, some historians have claimed Napoleon would have been measured with a British measure at his autopsy, since he was under British control at St Helena, implying the 5 ft 2 ins is an Imperial measure, equal to about 1.58 meters. On the other hand, Francesco Antommarchi, Napoleon's personal physician, despised the English, considered their touch "polluting", and may never have used their yardstick to measure his emperor. (Antommarchi, F. G (1826). The Last Days of Napoleon: Memoirs of the Last Two Years of Napoleon's Exile. London: H.Colburn. pp.  M1 p157 . Retrieved 2007-11-01.)
  8. "Weights and Measures". historydata.com. Archived from the original on 2008-05-21. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
  9. 1 2 3 Owen Connelly (2006). Blundering to Glory: Napoleon's Military Campaigns. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 7. ISBN   9780742553187.
  10. Dunan 1963
  11. "Sarkozy height row grips France". BBC. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 13 September 2009.
  12. Sandberg, David E.; Linda D. Voss (September 2002). "The psychosocial consequences of short stature: a review of the evidence". Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 16 (3): 449–63. doi:10.1053/beem.2002.0211. PMID   12464228.
  13. Garza, Janiss, Allmovie. "Mixed Nuts (1925)", Review Summary, The New York Times . Retrieved 09-25-2006.
  14. "Napoleon Bunny-part", Scripts, Delenea's Bugs Bunny Page. Retrieved 07-18-2007.
  15. French, Philip ( The Observer ). "The Emperor's New Clothes", The Guardian , 02-04-2004. Retrieved 07-19-2006.