Napoleonic Imaginaries

  • Ben CarverEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


Irony is an under-acknowledged tone in counterfactual imaginaries of Napoleon, in Richard Whately’s satirical pamphlet, Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Buonaparte(1819) , and throughout the century. These included the first full-length work of alternate history, Louis Geoffroy’s Napoléon et la conquête du monde (1836), Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace (1869) , Edmund Lawrence’s minor novel, It May Happen Yet: A Tale of Bonaparte’s Invasion of England(1899) , and G. M. Trevelyan’s historical essay, “If Napoleon Had Won the Battle of Waterloo” (1907). In all these instances, Napoleonic imaginaries were also used to highlight perceived errors in models of historical interpretation, from self-congratulatory Liberalism to the belief that great men make history.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishFalmouth UniversityPenrynUK

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