Nutting, Sinclair Holmes
Few men have played so great a role in the History of Western Civilization as Napoleon Bonaparte and it is not strange that his Historiography should contain so many different interpretations. Driault calls him the "Prophet of the Revolution". Taine likened him to a condottiere of Renaissance Italy. While Guérard calls him " a Horthy on a larger scale". One is constantly reminded of the blind men of Hindustan, each of whom had a different conception of the elephant; each conception contained a certain truth, but it was not the whole truth. Similarly, the judgment of the Napoleonic historians is coloured and clouded by their own prejudice, and by the prejudice of the age in which they lived. Consequently the most varied views have been expressed about Napoleon. I propose to compile these various opinions about Napoleon, to determine why they have been held, and to try to arrive at a more complete picture. I cannot expect to do more than this. I do not think that any investigator can hope to arrive at absolute conclusions, for History is a slave of time and is only capable of relative truth.