Volume VI: 1806 – Vers le Grand Empire

Mise en page 1The sixth volume of the General Correspondence of Napoleon Bonaparte covers the entirety of 1806, bringing together some 2,679 letters (the Second Empire publication contained just 1,896), commentaries from period specialist historians, and a preface from Jean-Claude Casanova.

1806 is a particularly rich year in terms of events. The Confederation of the Rhine was created, whilst, on the other hand, the Holy Roman Empire ceased to exist. Francis II became Francis I, nothing more than Austrian Emperor and bringing to an end a Reich that had lasted nearly a thousand years. The end of the year was marked by a new military campaign, which saw French troops enter Berlin on 27 October. With the Russians lending the Prussians their assistance, hostilities were resumed on Polish soil, and Napoleon entered Warsaw on 19 December. 1806 was also the year of the Continental Blockade decrees, the end of the Republican calendar, the establishment of the St. Napoleon (15 August), the beginning of the building of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and the birth of Napoleon’s first son, Charles Léon, product of his liaison with Eléonore de la Plaigne.

As per the previous volumes, this collection of letters comes complete with two studies, eight maps, 6 letter reproductions, a detailed timeline and three indexes, making it an immensely useful research tool.

The Fondation Napoléon is supported in this historical project by the Archives de France, the Fondation La Poste and more than one hundred volunteer collaborators.

Introduction by Michel Kerautret, volume editor, specialist in German history.

La campagne de Saxe, Iena-Auerstaedt, by General Delmas
Le dépôt de la Guerre sous le Consulat et l’Empire. De la conservation à la documentation, by Michel Roucaud

Le statut de la Maison impériale du 30 mars 1806, by Thierry Lentz
Les souverains allemands en 1806, by Michel Kerautret
– Detailed timeline, by Irène Delage
– Table of measures and currencies

– “Rezess” Germany, 1803
– The Confederation of the Rhine, 1806
– The Kingdom of Naples, 1806
– The Jena manoeuvre (2-13 October, 1806)
– The Battles of Jena – Auerstaedt (14 October, 9am)
– The Battles of Jena – Auerstaedt (14 October, 2pm)
– The pursuit of the Prussians after Jena and Auerstaedt (October-November, 1806)
– The Polish Campaign (1806-1807)


Michel Kerautret (ed.), working with François Houdecek, Elodie Lerner and Irène Delage, preface by Jean-Claude Casanova.

Paris : Éditions Fayard, 2009, 1 488 pages.