One of the themes in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment is how the main character – who is a young man in 1860s Russia – has delusions of grandeur and believes he is on the same moral level as Napoleon, and repeatedly compares himself to the French Emperor. There's also a line in the book – or maybe another book by Dostoyevsky – where an older character dismissively remarks that "all of the young men want to be like Napoleon now" or something along those lines. I also noticed that in many portraits and later photographs of men in the mid-to-late 19th century, they are posing in a way where one of their hands is tucked into their jacket/shirt, which is a pose that Napoleon was known for (I know that people did this before him, but it seems that Napoleon was the most famous example of it, and intentionally did it to emulate the Ancient Romans). I believe that the trend of monarchs wearing military uniform and/or more 'simple', stripped back clothing was popularised by Napoleon, who was famous for wearing a plain grey overcoat most of the time (which was remarked upon many times during his lifetime). I know this trend seemed to start with Frederick Wilhelm I of Prussia (the father of Frederick the Great), but again, Napoleon was the most famous person to continue the trend/style and it become an iconic part of the Emperor's image.

So if you'll forgive the rambling, I guess my question is: were there any noticeable ways in which people both at the time and after his death sought to intentionally copy/emulate Napoleon, in any way? Was it seen as a sort of edgy, politically incorrect thing to do, considering that in many countries in Europe Napoleon was viewed very negatively? Or am I just reading too much into it?

Read:  Kevin the thief

Source: reddit post


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