In conventional histories the life of Michel Ney, cooper's son whose brilliance and bravery in the service of Napoleon raised him to be Duke of Elchingen, Prince of Moskowa and Marshal of France, ends before the guns of a firing squad in Luxembourg Gardens on Dec. 7, 1815. Called by Napoleon "the bravest of the brave," the hero of Elchingen, Friedland, Redinha, Borodino and the retreat from Moscow had sworn allegiance to Bourbon Louis XVIII on the Empire's fall, set out to bring Napoleon to Paris in an iron cage when he returned...

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