HomeDocument of the WeekDiary of August Wilhelm Gildemeister

The Diary of the Bremen merchant August Wilhelm Gildemeister (1791-1866) is certainly my document of this week. After a break of six weeks I’ve resumed reading and transcribing his adventures with the Napoleonic guard of honor on their way to France day by day (with a slight delay of 202 years). Many of the entries are like holiday postcard texts: “Nancy is said to be the most picturesque town in France. It has very wide streets and two nice squares, the Place de Louis XVI and another one near the castle with busts of the former French kings, whose heads have been chipped off during the revolution”. I like the anecdotical style. It’s certainly not a literary masterpiece or a primary historical source for the Napoleonic Wars. But it’s a very immediate and personal testimony of an involved individual and the fact that a friend has lend me the manuscript, which his grandfather had received in exchange for tobacco after WWII, gives me the great opportunity to publish the text on the Taxodium website for the very first time. Unfortunately I am not able to produce and to provide a full English translation, but some basic information and partial translations can be found here.

Diary of August Wilhelm Gildemeister about his route with the Napoleonic guard of honor from Bremen to France 1813-1815

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