Pierre Emmanuel Albert, Baron Ducasse - Encyclopedia




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PIERRE EMMANUEL ALBERT DUCASSE, Baron (1813-1893), French historian, was born at Bourges on the 16th of November 1813. In 1849 he became aide-de-camp to Prince Jerome Bonaparte, ex-king of Westphalia, then governor of the Invalides, on whose commission he wrote Memoires pour servir a l'histoire de la campagne de 1812 en Russie (1852). Subsequently he published Memoires du roi Joseph (1853-1855), and, as a sequel, Histoire des negotiations diplomatiques relatives aux 'mites de Morfontaine, de Luneville et d'Amiens, together with the unpublished correspondence of the emperor Napoleon I. with Cardinal Fesch (1855-1856). From papers in the possession of the imperial family he compiled Memoires du prince Eugene (1858-1860) and Refutation des memoires du duc de Raguse (1857), part of which was inserted by authority at the end of volume ix. of the Memoires. He was attaché to Jerome's son, Prince Napoleon, during the Crimean War, and wrote a Précis historique des operations militaires en Orient, de mars 1854 a octobre 1855 (1857), which was completed many years later by a volume entitled La Crimee et Sebastopol de 1853 d 1856, documents intimes et inedits, followed by the complete list of the French officers killed or wounded in that war (1892). He was also employed by Prince Napoleon on the Correspondance of Napoleon and afterwards published certain letters, purposely omitted there, in the Revue historique. These documents, subsequently collected in Les Rois freres de Napoleon (1883), as well as the Journal de la reine Catherine de Westphalie (1893), were edited with little care and are not entirely trustworthy, but their publication threw much light on Napoleon I. and his entourage. His Souvenirs d'un officier du 2 e Zouaves, and Les Dessous du coup d'Nat (1891), contain many piquant anecdotes, but at times degenerate into mere tittle-tattle. Ducasse was the author of some slight novels, and from the practice of this form of literature he acquired that levity which appears even in his most serious historical publications.

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