A Spanish government source, speaking about Franco’s tomb, says: “There’s nowhere else in Europe where you have a monument to a dictator” (Report, 21 July). But Napoleon, who seized power by an armed coup in 1799, later upgrading himself to emperor, has a splendid tomb in Paris.
Emmanuel Macron is sometimes compared to him by his acolytes. After all, Napoleon did institute a continental blockade against a Britain that wanted to retain its political independence.
• If Napoleon was “one of the most ardent republicans in history” (Charles picks Napoleon’s cloak for art show at palace, 20 July), it’s a bit odd that he killed off the First Republic, established an imperial dynasty and made his son and three of his brothers kings (of Rome, Spain, Holland and Westphalia). No wonder his hooded cloak “greatly appealed to the Prince of Wales”.
Emeritus professor of history, Oxford University