France 2004 Napoleon Postage Stamp Miniature Sheet
Postage stamp souvenir sheet issued by France in 2004 featuring Napoleon 1er et la garde imperiale. Six stamps on sheet, great item for collector of militaria or Napoleona.
Issue Date: Jun 28, 2004.
Condition: Mint, never hinged.
According to William Milligan Sloane in his book, The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte:
"...we have in his career every element of epic greatness: a colossal man, a chaotic age, the triumph of principle, the re-establishment of historical equilibrium by means of a giant cast away when no longer needed. And this epic quality, which is not in the man alone nor in the age alone, appears when the two are combined, and then only. Looking at him in our cold light, he has every attribute of the commonplace adventurer; looking at the France of 1786 with our perspective, the people and the times appear almost mad in their frantic efforts to accomplish the work of ages in the moments of a single lifetime. Yet combine the two, and behold the man of the third estate rising, advancing, reflecting, and then planting himself in the foreground as the most dramatic figure of public life, and you have a scene, a stage, and actors which cannot be surpassed in the range of history. To the end of the Consulate the action is powerful, because it represents reality: a nation unified, a people restored to wholesome influences, peace inaugurated, constitutional government established. There is so far no tawdry decoration, no fine clothes, no posing, no ranting. But with the next scene, that of the Empire, the spectator becomes aware of all these annoyances, and more. The leading actor grows self-conscious, identifies himself with the public interest for personal ends and to the detriment of the nation, displays no moral or artistic self-restraint, and soon arranges every element so as to make his studied personal ambitions appear like the resultants of ominous forces which act from without, and against which he is donning the armor of despotism for the public good. The play becomes a human tragicomedy, and, verging to its close, ends, like the tragedies of the Greeks, with a people betrayed and the force of the age chained to a torrid rock as the sport of the elements."