The Corner

Vdh On Boney

Excellent review by VDH of Paul Johnson’s Napoleon in the Claremont Review

of Books.

Just two notes: (1) Among the catalog of Napoleon-worshipping

intellectuals, let not Puccini be forgotten. In the second act of Tosca,

when the news of Napoleon’s victory at Marengo comes through, Cavaradossi

cries out “Vittoria! Vittoria!” then launches into some allegro concitato

about: “Surge up, Liberty! crushing all tyranny…” (2) Napoleon was a

keen amateur mathematician, and there is a theory in geometry named after

him. On the sides of any triangle at all, construct three equilateral

triangles. The centers of these three equilateral triangles form another

equilateral triangle, sometimes called “the Napoleon triangle.”


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