Meg (marshalmeg) wrote in napoleon_1,

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Random Question for Your Pondering Pleasure

Somewhat random question: What is it about Napoleon or the Napoleonic Era that interests everyone?

I'm not asking you to justify your being pro-Napoleon or anything of that nature, merely, why are you interested in this particular era and what about it appeals to you (i.e. the people, the art, the clothing, etc.)? So, if you like Napoleon himself, that's a reason.

Being a military historian my main interest, of course, is in the warfare of the time, which appeals to me the most of the various historical periods. I like large formation based warfare that's more inventive and on a larger scale than the more predictable line vs. line style of the 18th century but is not get verging on the disgusting technological mess that is fully modern war. (Apologies to anyone fond of studying modern war.)

In addition I do like the people and find the majority of the major figures of the era interesting. This particular era produced more than its share of fascinating people who are interconnected through various amusing little ironies. For example, we have Napoleon championing progress and an end to old and inefficient aristocratic systems such as purchased commissions and he ends up being defeated by one of the main supporters of the old system. Also, Talleyrand and Fouche greatly amuse me for some reason.

The men's clothing is relatively nice but I have never been a fan of those empire waist dresses for some reason. But... I like the sort Marie Antoinette wore so my taste is questionable. *snicker*

Methinks that ultimately it is the fact that it is one last great display of traditional old-fashioned glory in the classical sense of the word before industrialization came to dominate... and you will pardon my one moment of romanticism.
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