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Bourrienne is famous for his Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte, a book based on years of intimate friendship with his subject. They met at the Military Academy at Brienne in Champagne when eight years old. Napoleon recalled the famous snowball battles that he masterminded: "Unfortunately the pleasure did not last long, for we put stones in the snowballs, so that many boys were injured, among them my friend Bourrienne, and the game was forbidden". Typically, Napoleon recalled that when they graduated in 1787 at age 15 he led in all subjects; Bourrienne recalled that Napoleon led in mathematics, while he was first in all else.