3 NOVEMBER 1928, Page 90

Some Bo - olcs of the Week IN Those Quarrelsome Bonapartes (Williams

and Norgate, 10s. 6d.) Mr. R. G. Anderson retells the life of Napoleon in the new conversational style which Dr. Ludwig has done so much to popularize. His characters attitudinize and talk. It is almost needless to say that the central figure is Napoleon himself, with his mother, Lucrezia, Madame Mere, and Josephine as heroines. And, indeed, there was something really heroic in Madame Mere. The rather curious title of the book is borne out by a picture of the Emperor that has been coming into vogue of late—a Napoleon very different from the brutal conqueror of our childhood's histories, the picture of a Napoleon for ever forgiving, benignant and humane. Only, as we read these five hundred pages, we ask ourselves how it was that this man, " with nobly-moulded head and a pair of extraordinary eyes "—by the way, were those eyes ‘` blue-black " ? we thought they were grey—contrived to magnetize the hearts of a generation of hardy warriors and to ride at their head through nearly every capital of Europe. The question was asked by the late Colonel Henderson and it has never been answered. Napoleon keeps his secret still. But that he was a far greater statesman and a far humaner man than our forbears conceived him we readily admit. We can even see his own self-excuse for the Enghien affair, now that we realize that our own Government *as concerned in plots for his assassination, and did not hesitate to seize the Danish Fleet in time of peace. For the rest, this vivacious account is unevenly spaced, deals in Americanism's, and is not always accurate' in its details. Full lives of Napoleon usually betray hurry here and there= commonly in the campaigns of 1813 and 1814, as here. Wolseley considered Vandamme's disaster at Kulm in the pursuit after Dresden as the turning-point of the Imperial fortunes. Mr. Anderson just alludes to Dresden as " a draw." And St. Helena is out of the picture altogether—not a word ! But there are attractive bits of description in the book, though it is not one for the reader who wants to go very deep.