Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Napoleon’s Miniaturized Traveling Library (openculture.com)
51 points by zenlot 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

- For religion, he wanted: both (bible) testaments, the Quoran, history of the Church.

- Epics: Homère, Lucain, Le Tasse, Télémarque, La Henriade

- Tragedies: some Corneille, Racine (minus a few), Voltaire. No Molière

- History: some chronology works and works on the Roman Empire

He didn't want many memoires and "useless dissertations".

As a side-note this started in July 1808 and by December he was complaining that there wasn't enough new content.

The full project never got executed, only a subset ever got produced and apparently it wasn't satisfactory.

Source: Les Bibliothèques particulière de L'Empereur Napoléon, Antoine Guillois, 1900 — http://bibnum.enc.sorbonne.fr/omeka/files/original/0ac1be913...

Articles like this always make me wonder about the effect of technology, particularly easy access to the Internet at all times, on my generation (born in the late 80s and early 90s).

That discussion -- about attention spans, finding exactly what you're looking for versus having to interpret a static document, etc. -- has been had a million times on this site and elsewhere. But it struck me that he didn't ask for digests or something like that. For Napoleon, evidently there was more to these books than their information content alone.

Very cool! Unfortunately, no one seems to have a list of books that were in it. I wonder what Napoleon liked to read...

This "Life of Wellington" mentions the capture of Napoleon's traveling library and mentions that they found the works of Homer, the Bible, Ossian (a supposed ancient Scottish poet now thought to be fraudulent), and a work of Voltaire.


Nabokov has curious things to say about the influence of Ossian (maybe in the introduction to his translation of the Song of Igor's Campaign?).

Anti-Adblock or something said

> You value our content ...

Less than you think. Certainly not as much as my time, attention, and security. Bye.

Does anyone know how small the books were? There's nothing in the picture to give a sense of scale.

The article mentions that they were "small 12mo", which is a standard size (also called a duodecimo) corresponding to 5 x 7.375 inches.

I heard you like books... so I put a books in your book.

Just in case you are wondering why you are being downvoted:

This sort of low-effort joke is generally frowned upon here.

While it might be fun to some, it would ultimately lead to many more comments that do not add to the discussion, and thereby dilute the overall experience.

Said account is 5.5 years old, so they know what's what. Furthermore, judging by their comment history, this user as a habit of posting low-quality comments interspersed with enough 'real person' stuff, I suppose, to prevent a ban. I'm not a fan.

Applications are open for YC Winter 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact