The Soldier's Death in French Culture: a Napoleonic Case Study

The Department of History is pleased to announce the publication of Dr. Ian Germani’s most recent scholarly research. “The Soldier'sIan Germani Death in French Culture: A Napoleonic Case Study”  appeared in the most recent issue of Journal of War & Culture Studies. The article makes use of a case study from the Napoleonic wars, the death of Marshal Lannes at the Battle of Aspern-Essling in 1809, to cast light on the ideas of a number of historians who have reflected on the experience and representation of the soldier’s death.  It demonstrates the ways in which Napoleonic propaganda transformed the soldier’s death from an act of patriotic self-sacrifice into one of devotion to the Emperor, and confirms the view of Israeli historian Yuval Harari that the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries witnessed the beginning of an age when the experience of death in battle acquired a new and intense emotional significance.  Dr. Germani is a specialist in European and military history and currently researching a history of the soldier’s death.