History Prize 1986

1986PrixZiesenissJérôme ZIESENISS, Berthier, frère d’armes de Napoléon, Paris, Belfond

General Alexander Berthier led a dazzling career, and his life was filled with epic and passion after two key encounters: with General Bonaparte, and with a beautiful Milanese woman, the Marquise Visconti. His life spanned what many consider the most exciting thirty years of French history. This first complete biography of Berthier, by Jérôme Zieseniss, graduate of Sciences-Po in public law and member of the executive committee of the Souvenir Napoléonien, tells the story.

“Berthier has it all: talent, hard work, courage, character…” Thus did Napoleon Bonaparte judge the general who would be his right-hand man, on whom he would lavish titles (the Prince of Wagram, the Sovereign Prince of Neuchâtel) and offices (Marshal and Vice-Constable of the Empire, Major General of the Grand Armée, etc.), and whose death remains a mystery (accident, suicide, or murder?).