Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Napoleon’s Campaign in Egypt

or, rather, the savants’ expedition accompanying it, is recounted in several delightful pages of Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn to Decadence (read an excerpt). Here are some scenes from the Description de l’Égypte mentioned by Barzun.

I am told that Mr. Barzun’s editor, Hugh Van Dusen, read from this section of From Dawn to Decadence at the National Book Awards Finalists readings at the National Book Foundation, New School University, NYC, on November 14, 2000. Characteristically, Mr. Barzun kept his selection under the five-minute time limit, unlike some of the other finalists.