What did the Emperor have to say about the Prince?
September 13, 2008 6:16 PM   Subscribe

Is there a (good, easily purchasable) English translation of Napoleon's notes on Machiavelli's The Prince?

Wikipedia mentions this: "At different stages in his life, Napoleon I of France wrote extensive comments to The Prince. After his defeat in Waterloo, these comments were found in the emperor's coach and taken by Prussian military." In the corresponding footnote, there's a link to this translation of the notes, but it appears to be in Spanish. Does anyone know of a version of the same in English, or even a published version in French? Either would be great, but despite googling, I haven't come up with anything.
posted by notquitemaryann to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Check out 'Napoleon and Machiavelli - 2 essays in political science' by Frank Preston Stearns. about $12 on ABEbooks. (?)
posted by docmccoy at 10:55 PM on September 13, 2008

No need to buy it, it's right here on Google books. I didn't find anything about Napoleon's comments on a quick scanthrough, though.
posted by Kattullus at 11:06 PM on September 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Well, apparently according to this and seeing this, it might be a fake. Sounds like Aimé Guillon made it up to show how Napoleon had misinterpreted Machiavelli and to convince the Bourbons to use the doctrine in "The Prince" or, according to others (see front matter inside this book), "it is a forgery genially intended to blacken each name with the other". Nonetheless, can you read french?
posted by lucia__is__dada at 4:45 AM on September 14, 2008

Best answer: "Ce fut d abord un livre intitulé Machiavel commenté par Bonaparte, Paris 1816, dans lequel parallèlement à la traduction qu il avait faite du fameux livre il Principe et de quelques chapitres analogues des Décades Tite Liviennes du même politique Florenti, se lisaient sous le nom supposé de Bonaparte des remarques sévères mais utiles à Louis XVIII considéré comme particulier nouvellement parvenu à la souveraineté. Elles étaient au fond moins flatteuses pour lui que pour celui à qui le commentaire était attribué. Il faut voir la manière ingénieuse dont en parla le plus profond des écrivains du Journal des Débats M Fiévée dans les feuilles des Set 17 mai 1816. Quoique le nom de l'auteur du livre ne s'y trouvât pas, tout le monde sut bientôt qu il était de l'abbé Aimé Guillon" On Revue du Lyonnais By Léonard Boitel, Aimé Vingtrinier
posted by lucia__is__dada at 4:53 AM on September 14, 2008

Best answer: Yeah, seems to be a fake.
posted by languagehat at 8:44 AM on September 14, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you very much! Disappointing, but I suppose it was a little bit too interesting to be true.
posted by notquitemaryann at 8:03 PM on September 16, 2008

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