J. David Markham Academic Palms Acceptance Speech



« Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen,

I am overwhelmed with gratitude for this extraordinary honor from France. I am so very grateful to receive this high recognition for my efforts to promote France and Napoleon over the past quarter century or so. And the honor is dramatically increased by having it presented to me by Your Excellency in front of my peers at a Napoleonic Congress and in your lovely home.


Life often takes you in directions you can never anticipate. When I first became interested in Napoleon as a child, or when I first started writing about Napoleon and getting involved in Napoleonic societies, I would never have imagined that I would be standing here today. And as an added international twist, I am an American, living in Canada, here in Cuba to receive a high honor from France in front of scholars from all over the world. Talk about an international event!

I want to thank France for this amazing honor and Your Excellency for furthering the honor by doing the presentation. So many people have helped make this possible that I cannot begin to mention them all. The late Ben Weider, the late Proctor Patterson Jones, the late Jack Sigler are all especially missed at a moment like this. Jerry Gallaher, Don Horward, Rafe Blaufarb, Barbara Munson and my sister Sara have all done so much over the years to support my efforts. Deep gratitude goes to Prince Victor Massena, General Henri Paris and Alex Grab as well. Special thanks goes to my wife Edna for all of her support and encouragement. Finally, I want to remember and thank my father, Professor James Walter Markham. It is he who got me interested in Napoleon so very many years ago, and it is he most of all who I wish could have been here to share this moment with me. »

Vive la France, et Vive l’Empereur!



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