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From: David_Lebling@avid.com
Subject: (urth) Napoleon's Hand
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 98 15:10:54 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

> From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
> Does anyone in this group know what Wolfe is referring to here? And is
> there really biography of Napoleon by a man named Ludwig?

I'd like to know as well.  To answer part of your question, there indeed
is a biography of Napoleon by Emil Ludwig, which was published in 1926.
It was a best-seller.

How old is Weer on page 2?  He's just a kid, right?  This gives a good
shot at his birth year, perhaps.  If true, it seems likely to me that
the very beginning of _Peace_ takes place in our future: the tree
planted on Weer's grave has grown and fallen down. Weer would only be
about 80 right now, were he alive today.  He lived to at least age 65,
according to his estimate of his age at the time of his stroke.

There's an article in ART BULLETIN (March, 1995) called "Re-dressing
Classical Statuary: The Eighteenth Century 'Hand-in-Waistcoat'
Portrait," by Arline Miller.  It claims, plonkingly enough, that this
was a standard portrait cliche that indicated "manly boldness tempered
with modesty." Napoleon is associated with this pose because of David's
famous painting. The article suggests Napoleon may have learned the pose
from Talma, the actor who taught the First Consul how to act imperial.

I've also heard the claim that the hand-in-waistcoat was because
Napoleon suffered from scrofula, but I don't have any references.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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