<p>This verse biography of Napoleon has sometimes been attributed to William Combe, famous in his day as the author of the ‘tours’ of Doctor Syntax, but is probably by an anonymous writer seeking to exploit Combe’s success. It was illustrated with thirty engravings by the young George Cruikshank (1792–1878), whose career as a graphic satirist up to that point had been punctuated by repeated abusive caricatures of Napoleon. The engravings follow Napoleon’s progress from his time at military college to his abdication in 1814, and dwells particularly on the massacres, murders, and other iniquities with which his name was associated in Britain. The series of prints concludes with a sunset view of the former Emperor disembarking on Elba in 1814; at the time of publication it would have been seen as marking the final episode in Napoleon’s story.</p>
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