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Grant number like: FZ-256495-17

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Mark Braude
Stanford University (Stanford, CA 94305-2004)

Public Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2017 – 8/31/2018

The Invisible Emperor: Napoleon Bonaparte on Elba

Research leading to publication of a monograph on Napoleon Bonaparte’s exile on Elba and short-lived return to power in 1815.

The Invisible Emperor offers a narrative history of Napoleon’s exile on Elba as a case study through which to consider the intertwined histories of politics, celebrity, and mass media in the modern era. Spanning from Napoleon's abdication as emperor of France in April of 1814 to his escape and return to the mainland the following March, this project considers how Napoleon became the first modern political figure to fully harness the power of emerging mass media technologies, as he framed himself as the charismatic protagonist in a heroic narrative to be consumed in words and images. This project suggests that Napoleon gained widespread support for his unlikely return to power in 1815 precisely because of the mystique he fostered while seemingly out-of-sight and silenced during his ten months in exile on Elba, as Europeans delighted in this latest twist in his already storied career.