Yes, I saw the Napoleon movie last weekend. We'll come back to that in a bit...
We lost ouir Zoe fairly suddenly earlier this year, a victim of the Hemangiosarcoma that is the plague of Golden Retrievers. Zoe was the last of many Golden Retrievers from our long time breeder and freind, Bob. The Empress has puppy tested Bob's litters for decades, and in September, after testing a litter, she came back saying how wonderful this one particular boy was. "But he's spoken for, so it doesn't matter." A few days later, Bob called us to say that the prospective owner had backed out, so if we wanted the boy, we could have him. We all went to check him out a few days later. I knew that once we went, we would be getting him. My younger daughter lost her beloved Golden, Rory, a few years back, and has wanted another boy for a while. In fact, we got Rory in much the same way - an unplanned puppy.
So, no surprise, a week later, the new boy, whom my daughter named "Rowan", came home with us. The big girls weren't quite sure what to make of him at first, hence "making friends with treats"!
Well. it wasn't long before Rowan "Conquered everything". he is seen here seated upon this throne, LOL!
Everybody love Rowan!
"I am master of all I survey!"
Back to the Napoleon Movie; I saw it with my wife and our two close, history buff friends (neither of whom is really very familiar with Napoleon and his times). The theater was actually full, which surprised me somewhat. As history, well, not too great. The movie is more told through the lens of Napoleon's relationship with Josephine, which isn't unreasonable for the general public. The earlier part of the movie concerning the siege of Toulon, the "whiff of grapeshot", Napoleon's encountering Josephine, some brief cameos in Egypt and then the Coup d' Etat of Brumaire, the consulate and coronation was reasonably well done; I'd be really interested in what is in the 4+ hour director's cut. The battle scenes are impressive but pretty grossly fantasy. Overall, I enjoyed it for what it was. The subject of Napoleon, his life and his times is so complex that it would really take a muti-part series to cover it in any depth at all. I think the director would have been far better off with at least 2 or 3 movies; the first woukld cover his early life, and end with his successful 1st Italian campaign. The second might have covered Egypt through Austerlitz or Tilsit, and the last from there until his death. Certainly more development of the many other characters surrounding him, demonstration of his charisma and incredible work ethic, and some coverage of the Concordat and the Code Napoleon would have given a more nuanced and engaging portrait of the man. Today is the 119th anniversary of Napoleon's coronation as Emperor of the French, and the 118th anniversary of Austerlitz. Vive l'Empereur!
Finally, this week saw the death of Dr. Henry Kissinger at age 100. His legacy is complex, but he was certainly a major force, for both good and bad, in the evolution of the world order in the 1960's, 1970's, and beyond. . He retired to Kent, CT, one town Northeast of where I have practiced for almost 40 years. Soon after we moved to the area, my wife and I were out to dinner. She whispered to me "Peter, someone is doing a really BAD impression of Henry Kissinger!". I glanced over, and, knowing that he lived in the area, replied "Oh no, that IS Henry Kissinger!" For the most part celebrities bore me to tears, but I must confess that speaking with Kissinger would have been another matter altogether. We of course ignored he and his party the rest of the evening.