The Bonaparte CapernBen Weider and David Hapgood:nThe Murder of Napoleon;nCongdon & Lattes; New York.nby Daniel B. DallasnHistory, which deals kindlynand often extravagantly with thenlife of Napoleon, tends to ignorenhis death. “Stomach cancer” isnthe terse autopsy report in thisnreviewer’s college text. But innOctober 1961 the British scientificnjournal Nature publishednan article which stated thatnNapoleon was the victim ofnarsenic poisoning. This storynreverberated through othernpublications, then settled intonsomnolence—until now. Considernthe following:nThe memoirs of Louis Marchand,nNapoleon’s valet, arenpublished in 1955. Marchandnwrote his memoirs for his family,nnot for publication. A descendantnfeels that they rightfullynbelong to history. A Swedishndentist named Sten Forshufvud,nwho is an accomplished toxicologistnand Napoleon buff, recognizesnsome 20 of the 32 symptomsnof arsenic poisoning innMarchand’s history of Napoleon’snfinal years. The syndromenof arsenic poisoning was notnknown until 1930; Marchandndid not recognize the import ofnhis words. During the 50’s anscientist named Hamilton Smithnat the University of Edinburghndevelops a method of detectingnpoison in human hair throughnnuclear bombardment. ThenMr. Dallas is editorial directorno/Manufacturing EngineeringnTnagazine.n40inChronicles of Culturentechnique grows in sophisticadonnso that eventually, given ansingle hair from a victim ofnchronic arsenic poisoning. Smithncan divide the hair according tondaily growth and then constructna chronology showing thenamounts of poison administeredneach day. The sophisticatednFrench will now certainly use thenscience of Smith to verify thentestimony of Marchand. But nonofficial word is forthcoming andnwhen Forshufvud begins hisnown investigation he finds thatnthe French are not interested inncooperating with a Swedish dentistnwho entertains curious ideasnrelated to the death of theirnEmperor.nThe authors of this text nownpresent the reader with twonstories that run on parallel tracksnvia alternating chapters. On onentrack the reader follows thenemperor from the time of hisnsurrender to Captain Maitlandnof the Bellerophon to his finalnagonized gasp on St. Helena.nThe reader can only watch helplesslynas the slow process ofnarsenic poisoning strips away thenlayers of greatness and grandeur,nleaving an obese, querulous invalidnwho is quite aware that henis being systematically poisoned.nOn the other track the readernfollows the indefatigable Dr.nForshufvud who has all butnabandoned his dental practicen(1) to prove that Napoleon wasnpoisoned, and (2) to name hisnassassin. His success is such thatnin 1961 he and Prof. Smith cannco-author the Nature article.nProving arsenic poisoning to thenreader’s satisfaction is no problem.nNapoleonic hair samplesnare obtained from people inncountries as widely separated asnSwitzerland and Australia. Theynprove and prove again thatnNapoleon died of chronic arsenicnpoisoning.nBut who did it? The British,nwho were spending a quarter of anmillion pounds annually tonmaintain a garrison of 3,000nsoldiers, five warships and sixnbrigs at St. Helena just to guaranteenthat never again would thengenie get out of the bottle? Ornwas it the French, most especiallynthe Bourbons and most specificallynthe Count d’Artois, a formidablenadversary who hadnspent a quarter of a century plottingnthe death of Napoleon?nOne by one, Forshufvud eliminatesnall possible assassins savenone—the only one who cannotnbe provided an ironclad alibi. Itnis then a matter of encasing thisncandidate in a cocoon spun ofnunbreakable threads of circumstantialnevidence. The reader, benhe a Napoleon buff or whodone-itnlover, is the ultimatenjudge. DnIn Praise ofnComplete CriticismnMarion Montgomery: WhynFlannery O’Connor StayednHome: The Prophetic Poet andnthe Spirit of the Age; SherwoodnSugden & Co.; LaSalle, Illinois.nAlmost fifty years ago T.S.nEliot observed in his “Religionnand Literature” that “literaryncriticism should be completednby criticism from a definitenethical and theological standpoint.”nLiterature wrought bynan artist such as FlannerynO’Connor, who professed “preoccupationsnwith belief and withndeath and grace and the devil,”nespecially demands such “completed”ncriticism. However,nnnamong modern scholar-critics,nprofoundly innocent of ethicsnand religion, this demand isnseldom met. While feverishlyncategorizing the structural patternsnthey encounter, contemporarynscholars are often blind tonthe divine light streamingnthrough the casement of some ofnsuch patterns. But with eyesnquickened both by academicnsophistication and by Christiannfaith, Marion Montgomery hasnwritten a truly completedncriticism of O’Connor’s oeuvrenwhich perceptively analyzes herncreative accomplishments withinnthe illuminating glow of thensacred doctrines they celebrate.nRespectful of the integrity ofnO’Connor’s fiction as art notntract, Montgomery analyzes herntortuous—sometimes bizarrenand grotesque—aesthetic strategynfor depicting, as she put it,n”the action of grace in territorynheld largely by the devil” for “annaudience which puts little stockneither in grace or the devil.” Bynsetting these unusual strategiesnagainst the backdrop of an extensivenanalysis of the historicalntrends in literature, philosophy,nand religion which have madenthe function of the poet-prophetnambiguous and difficult, thisnstudy clarifies their rare value inna metaphysically impoverishednage. Readers who do not sharenMontgomery’s orthodox Catholicnconvictions will sometimesndisagree with his commentary,nbut no devotee of Miss O’Connorncan seriously object toncriticism completed from preciselynthat “definite ethical andntheoloical standpoint” that shenherself held. Even students ofnliterature not particularly interestednin O’Connor will findnMontgomery’s assessment of ourncultural ambiance provocativenand penetrating. Indeed, mostnreaders will be glad that in onenpromising sense this completedncriticism is incomplete: it is onlynthe first volume of a trilogy.n(BC) Dn