History of the French Consulate, Under Napoleon Buonaparte; Being an Authentic Narrative of His Administration, Which Is So Little Known in Foreign Countries, Including a Sketch of His Life. The Whole Interspersed with Curious Anecdotes and a Faithful Statement of Interesting Transactions, Until the Renewal of Hostilities in 1803.
London: Thomas Hurst, 1804. 1st Edition. 1st Printing. Leather. Half blue leather over blue linen, spine in six compartments separated by raised bands, gilt lettering in two compartments, gilt Napoleonic tooling in remainder, gilt borders on covers, t.e.g, fore-edge deckle, marbled endpapers. Illustrated with a tissue-protected frontispiece portrait of Napoleon etched by J. Chapman from an original Drawing lately brought from Paris by M. Barre. William Vincent Barré (cir. 1760–1829), was a European, a translator and author mainly notable for his writings on Napoleon. Barré was born in Germany about the year 1760 of French Protestant parents, who had left their native country on account of their religious opinions. He served first in the Russian navy, returned to France when the first revolution broke out, went as a volunteer in the army during the Italian campaign of 1796, and was raised to the rank of captain for the bravery he displayed on the field of battle. Through his intimate acquaintance with the principal languages of Europe, he became a favourite of General Bonaparte, who appointed him his personal interpreter. But he wrote some satirical verses about his employer, which seem now to be lost, and was obliged to flee from France. Pursued by Fouché's police-agents, he escaped in a small boat from Paris down the Seine as far as Le Havre, and went thence in an American vessel to England, where he appears to have arrived in 1803. The following year he published, in London, "A History of the French Consulate under Napoleon Buonaparte, being an Authentic Narrative of his Administration, which is so little known in Foreign Countries, including a Sketch of his Life, the whole interspersed with curious anecdotes, &c," in which he furiously attacks the first consul. In 1805 there appeared, in English, Barré's "Rise, Progress, Decline, and Fall of Buonaparte's Empire in France," which is preceded by an ‘advertisement’ of ten pages, in which he attacks the reviewers of his first book in the "Annual Review and History of Literature for 1803." This second work is as scurrilous as the first. Barré then left England for Ireland, where he appears to have had relatives, among them being the well-known orator, Isaac Barré. In about 1806 he printed, at Belfast, on a single sheet, some verses in French, with the motto, ‘à ton tour, paillasse’. He seems to have published nothing more, and is said to have committed suicide in Dublin in 1829.. Exterior hinges and edges lightly worn, else fine; seemingly unread, unmarked, tight, square, and clean. Quite a nice copy, in unusually excellent condition. NEAR FINE. B&W Illustrations. 8vo 8" - 9" tall. viii, 535, (1-adverts) pp. Near Fine with No dust jacket as issued .
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Keywords: Napoleon; Consulate; France; Politics; Polemic; History; English Propaganda; Napoleonic Wars; French Revolution; History Napoleon Rare, Antiquarian, and Collectible Books