2 thoughts on ““General Murat… had not forgotten his studies”

  1. Josefa vom Jaaga

    If I remember correctly, even Napoleon grudgingly admits that Murat had “received some education” – which may on some topics actually be far more formal education than Napoleon himself had gotten as a child. After all, Napoleon had been groomed for the military from the very beginning and would later have to make up for it by extensive reading and auto-education.

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    1. Yeah this is one of those subjects where Napoleon either tended to downplay Murat’s education or ignore it entirely. When Murat was courting Caroline, Napoleon supposedly brought up Murat’s lack of primary education as one of his multiple reasons he viewed Murat as unsuitable (but then, this is, if I remember correctly, from Bourrienne, so possibly dubious). I’ll have to go look for where else I’ve seen Napoleon say Murat had little/no education, I feel like one of the comments was made to someone on Saint Helena but I can’t remember off the top of my head. But at any rate, this narrative Napoleon liked to push of Murat being ill-educated gained some traction and I’ve seen it parroted by others–both contemporaries and more modern historians. I think it’s a great disservice to Murat. Wading as much through his correspondence as I have over the past few years, it’s very clear that he was no simpleton as he’s commonly depicted. I’m not saying he was a genius by any stretch, but I think he was much more intelligent than he’s generally credited with. His problem wasn’t a lack of intelligence or education, but rather impetuosity and bad judgment (especially under stress).

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