Volume IV: Ruptures et fondation 1803-1804

Napo Cor. 4This fourth volume of the Correspondance générale, published by the Fondation Napoléon with Edition Fayard, contains 2,077 letters and a preface by Thierry Lentz. It was edited by François Houdecek in collaboration with Gabriel Madec, and it covers the years 1803 – 1804. The title of the volume ‘Ruptures et fondations’ (Breaking with the past and laying the foundations of the future) sums up the content. There is the breakdown of the Peace of Amiens and the foundation and organisation of the Boulogne invasion camps, but there is also the ‘monarchisation’ of the Republic and the establishment of the Empire, ending with the coronation of Napoleon as first ‘Emperor of the French’.

The letters published come from 200 archival centres (French and other) and some 400 or so monographs. The letters have also been subjected to close scrutiny and comparison of sources, such that a good number appear here complete for the first time.

As with previous volumes, the book includes two detailed studies, four maps, a detailed timeline, and three indices.

The Fondation Napoléon has been supported in this historic and exceptional venture by the Archives de France, the Fondation La Poste and more than one hundred volunteers.

François Houdecek (ed.), working with Gabriel Madec, assisted by Irène Delage and Elodie Lerner, along with Patrick Le Carvèse and Michèle Masson, preface by Thierry Lentz.

Paris: Éditions Fayard, 2007, 1 184 pages.