London: Richard Bentley, 1836. First edition. Finely bound by Morrell in three-quarter polished calf over cloth boards, all edges gilt, red and brown morocco spine labels, raised bands with gilt details. A Near Fine set overall with only trivial wear at the crowns, otherwise all joints intact with no splitting or wear. Internally an excellent clean copy. Complete with 28 steel-engraved plates (including frontis of Napoleon), with folding plans and maps.
Beginning with their early schooling, Bourrienne traces Napoleon's rise to success through the lens of their longtime personal relationship. "His book gives a vivid, detailed account of his interactions with Napoleon and his mother, brothers and sisters; his first wife Josephine and her children, with notable French politicians...naturally his narration is colored by a complicated relationship with his subject: close friendship, working together intimately for years, followed by dismissal and humiliating rejection. Bourrienne tries to be balanced and gives many examples of Napoleon's brilliance, his skill at governance, and his deft political maneuvers while deploring his inexorable grabs for personal and familial wealth and power, his willingness to sacrifice French lives, and his abhorrence of the free press" (de Beaufort). Near Fine (Item #2877)