VIRTUAL: An Evening with Historian Ruth Scurr Author of Napoleon: A Life Told in Gardens and Shadows  

Hudson Library & Historical Society 


Wednesday, Oct. 6, 6 p.m. 


On Wednesday, October 6 at 6 p.m. the Hudson Library & Historical Society will host a live virtual streaming event with historian Ruth Scurr, author of Napoleon: A Life told in Gardens and Shadows. Marking the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death, Scurr’s book is an unprecedented portrait of the emperor told through his engagement with the natural world. Kirkus Reviews calls the book “a wealth of natural history and a fine Napoleon biography.”

In her book, Scurr follows the dramatic trajectory of Napoleon’s life through gardens, parks and forests. As she reveals, gardening was the first and last love of Napoleon, offering him a retreat from the manifold frustrations of war and politics. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary and historical scholarship and taking us from his early days at the military school in Brienne-le-Chateau through his canny seizure of power and eventual exile, Napoleon frames the general’s story through the green spaces he cultivated. Publishers Weekly notes, “Even readers well-versed in Napoleon’s rise and fall will learn something new from this gracefully written and imaginatively conceived portrait.”

Lecturer and Fellow at Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge, Scurr is a historian, writer, and literary critic. She is the author of two award-winning books, Fatal Purity: Robespierre and the French Revolution and John Aubrey: My Own Life and has written for many magazines and newspapers including The New York Observer, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal.  Since 2015 she has been a consultant editor at The Times Literary Supplement. She earned her Ph.D. from Cambridge University in 2000.

Copies of Napoleon will be available for purchase courtesy of the Learned Owl Book Shop. Registration for this program is required and a valid email address is required at time of registration. Participants will receive an email invitation to attend the program, hosted on Zoom, a day before the program begins.

If you have any questions, please email or call (330) 653-6658 x1010.   

Register here: 


Derrick Ranostaj 

Emerging Technologies Librarian

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