Inspiration Bonaparte? German culture and Napoleonic occupation

Seán Allan (Editor), Jeffrey L. High (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Two hundred years after his death Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) continues to resonate as a fascinating, ambivalent, and polarizing figure. Differences of opinion as to whether Bonaparte should be viewed as the executor of the principles of the French Revolution or as the figure who was principally responsible for their corruption are as pronounced today as they were at the start of the nineteenth century. Contributing to what had been an uneasy German relationship with the French Revolution, the rise of Bonaparte was accompanied by a pattern of Franco-German hostilities that inspired both enthusiastic supporters and outraged dissidents in the German-speaking states.

The fourteen essays that comprise Inspiration Bonaparte examine the mythologization of Napoleon in German literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explore the significant impact of Napoleonic occupation on a broad range of fields including philosophy, painting, politics, the sciences, education, and film.

As the contributions from leading scholars emphasize, the contradictory attitudes toward Bonaparte held by so many prominent German thinkers are a reflection of his enduring status as a figure through whom the trauma of shattered late-Enlightenment expectations of sociopolitical progress and evolving concepts of identity politics is mediated.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationRochester, NY
PublisherCamden House
Number of pages345
ISBN (Electronic)9781800102415
ISBN (Print)9781640140943
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameStudies in German literature, linguistics, and culture


  • Napoleon Bonaparte
  • German
  • Culture


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