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kleinbl00  ·  322 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 'bl00's Reviews #11: "The Story of Civilization" by Will and Ariel Durant

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Napoleon was actually renowned for his beautiful hands. He was a striking Corsican noble who wasn't particularly short who rose from being a minor aristocrat to being a major aristocrat by being ruthless during the Reign of Terror. He was also an endless dynamo of energy, often sleeping as little as three hours a night and availing himself at all hours of a revolving retinue of up to five secretaries. He expected everyone to be able to keep up with him and knew that anyone who was drawn into his immediate influence would burn out easily; he joked of aides that were "cursed" to work closely with him.

As a consequence he rarely had the patience to sit for portraits and a lot of the images we have of Napoleon he didn't actually sit for. And although he did have a stomach perforation due to cancer at the time of his death on St. Helena, his stomach problems did not really begin until Moscow burned and he was forced to make a harried retreat back to Paris.

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