Napoleon et les Femmes | L ‘amour, Frederick Masson, illus. A. Calbet (Librairie Borel, Paris, 1899 “Collection Nymphée”)
7.5″ X 3.75″, 391pp.+, 3/4 blue leather over marbled blue silk-covered boards, 5 raised bands, top edge gilt, marbled end-papers, illustrations throughout
This book focuses on the life of women under the Consulate and the Empire. It considers Napoleon’s conception of women, examining his contribution to the drafting of the Civil Code on the question of the place of women in society or the education of young girls. The memoirs and correspondence give an idea of how the women who lived through the Empire perceived this period of reforms, deprivation of freedoms, and also wars.
Louis Claude Frédéric Masson (1847 – 1923) was a French historian. At first he devoted himself to the history of diplomacy, and published between 1877 and 1884 several volumes connected with that subject. Later he published a number of more or less curious memoirs illustrating the history of the Revolution and of the empire.
Masson is best known for his books connected with Napoleon. In Napoléon inconnu (1895), Masson, together with Guido Biagi, brought out the unpublished writings (1786-1793) of the future emperor. These were notes, extracts from historical, philosophical and literary books, and personal reflections in which one can watch the growth of the ideas later carried out by the emperor with modifications necessitated by the force of circumstances and his own genius.