A 74-page manuscript, dictated by Napoleon, goes on sale Wednesday in Paris for one million euros.
This unique document gives the heroic account of the battle of Austerlitz in 1805 and was written by General Bertrand, one of the emperor's faithful.
The latter did not fail to annotate the manuscript.
Two centuries after his death, Napoleon saw his legend continue.
A unique manuscript, dictated and annotated by the emperor during his exile in Saint Helena, and recounting the legendary battle of Austerlitz to his glory, is on sale for one million euros from Wednesday in Paris.
In these 70 pages, written by General Bertrand, the emperor crossed out words in black ink and wrote remarks in the margin with tiny writing.
He recounts this legendary battle of 1805 in a somewhat embellished tale, even though it is still the greatest victory of his life.
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It uses the revolutionary calendar
This battle was so successful that it is still taught today in military schools, such as Saint-Cyr.
Napoleon, still emperor at heart despite exile, affirms that he "had recognized the heights of the battlefield eight days before".
In his words, he still uses the revolutionary calendar.
He speaks in Brumaire or Frimaire, whereas it was at the time about fifteen years that this calendar was no longer used.
Napoleon remains a legend throughout the world
In this text, Napoleon speaks of him in the third person.
"He writes it himself: 'The emperor says, the emperor does'", explains Alizée Raux, co-director of the Arts et Autographes gallery.
Heroism and enthusiasm are exaggerated in an exaggerated manner: "Not an officer, not a general, not a soldier who was not determined to conquer or to perish", it is mentioned.
When, after the battle, the emperor roams the battlefield strewn with dead and wounded, "nothing was more touching than to see these good people recognize him. They forgot their suffering and said: at least the victory was -it well insured? "
Visible until Saturday
"There are many documents which have entered the archives, in institutions. There are fewer and fewer things in private hands. Napoleon remains a legend throughout the world", continues the daughter of the owner of the gallery, Jean-Emmanuel Raux.
The manuscript can be viewed until Saturday in the Arts et Autographes gallery in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.