With Napoleon in Russia: The Illustrated Memoirs of Major Faber Du Faur, 1812

With Napoleon in Russia: The Illustrated Memoirs of Major Faber Du Faur, 1812

by Faber Du Faur, Christian Wilhelm Faber Du Faur
     
 

This handsome book is a unique record of Napoleon's invasion of Russia by Faber du Faur, a talented artist and front-line soldier. It combines his detailed, accurate and compelling illustrations of scenes recorded as they actually happened with his vivid and gripping memoirs of the campaign. The result is a superb and remarkably detailed evocation of 1812, from the

Overview

This handsome book is a unique record of Napoleon's invasion of Russia by Faber du Faur, a talented artist and front-line soldier. It combines his detailed, accurate and compelling illustrations of scenes recorded as they actually happened with his vivid and gripping memoirs of the campaign. The result is a superb and remarkably detailed evocation of 1812, from the sweeping battle scenes which capture the ordeal of Smolensk and Borodino, to the day-to-day struggle to keep campfires burning and famished men fed. Faber du Faur's plates - admired and highly-regarded primary source material - are here presented, for the first time, complete and in full color. His moving and frank memoirs, edited and translated by Jonathan North, are accompanied by a detailed campaign history and biography of the artist. Napoleon's invasion of Russia is a legendary campaign and a captivating story of endurance, survival and the rigors of total war. Few of the 500,000 men to cross the Niemen in July 1812 were to survive - the French army was decimated by the advance into the heart of Russia, and almost completely destroyed in the epic retreat from Moscow. With Napoleon in Russia is a unique presentation of this epic and an unforgettable depiction of the horrors of war.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Stuttgart-born career soldier Christian Wilhelm von Faber du Faur (1780-1857) served for years in the Napoleonic army, like a vast number of able-bodied mercenaries of his day. Also an amateur artist, Faber du Faur drew sketches of what he saw on the campaigns, and these were reproduced in colored plates in varied editions through his lifetime, with various texts in German and French. Popular military historian North (In the Legions of Napoleon, etc.) has translated prose captions from one of Faber du Faur's editions. (Other editions included poetry, making this a debatable choice.) The 92 plates are very much by an amateur artist, someone dedicated to showing detail, but stiffly, without emotiveness. Yet any fan of "outsider" art will feel their strange immediacy, as if the artist were struggling toward an impossible objectivity. Like the images, the clinical tone of the captions seems at some distance from actuality; sometimes terse and clearly translated throughout, they lack personality, going instead for deadpan comments like: "The bodies had been exposed to the burning heat of the summer sun, and they were rotting." Caveats aside, the historical charge of these drawings is enough to justify this release, and their peculiar power more than makes up for any shortcomings in the glosses. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781853674549
Publisher:
Greenhill Books/Lionel Leventhal, Limited
Publication date:
02/28/2006
Edition description:
First
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
13.13(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.87(d)

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