Early Napoleonic authors had lived during the Napoleonic era and most had forged strong opinions. They usually fell into one of two extremes; they either adored him or hated him and are generally referred to as the apologists and the haters. In the apologists' minds, Napoleon was faultless; if something went wrong it could not possibly have been Napoleon's fault or that he was out-generaled, so they shifted the blame to his subordinates, illness, bad weather or some other outside force that will not detract from Napoleon's greatness. An excellent example of an apologist is J.T. Headley, author of The Imperial Guard of Napoleon, which is the first book featured at this site. The haters, on the other hand, bore a grudge against Napoleon, or just disliked him or his methods. Paul Barras, whom Napoleon ousted from power, is an excellent example. The writings of the apologists and haters are interesting to read, repleat with anecdotes and obscure facts, but are highly suspect with regard to their accuracy in recounting important events. In the late 19th Century, objective authors began to appear. These authors were separated from the Napoleonic era by several decades and were more historically accurate. This is not to say that there were no objective authors in the early years, just that they were very scarce. Many people delayed publishing their memoirs so that they wouldn't hurt the reputation of a living person. Some went to the extreme of waiting until all immediate family members of a to-be-defamed character had died. Some important memoirs were lost to history for decades. Of course, apologists and haters exist today but by and large today's authors are objective historians.
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