ATG Quirkies: Napoleon’s Kindle

In this post, the Open Culture website reveals something that only an Napoleon aficionado might know.  A voracious reader, the French Emperor had his own miniaturized traveling library that he took on military campaigns.

An enthusiastic bibliophile, Napoleon charged his personal librarian to “form a traveling library of one thousand volumes in small 12mo and printed in handsome type… and in order to economize space there is to be no margin to them. They should contain from five hundred to six hundred pages, and be bound in covers as flexible as possible and with spring backs.”

And evidently, Napoleon was also a pretty discriminating reader. He gave orders that “there should be forty works on religion, forty dramatic works, forty volumes of epic and sixty of other poetry, one hundred novels and sixty volumes of history, the remainder being historical memoirs of every period.”

(Thanks to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies.)

 

 

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