Memoirs of the life, exile, and conversations of the Emperor Napoleon (1836) Vol. 1
by The Count de las Cases
The Count de las Cases and his 12-year-old son accompanied Napoleon Bonaparte to the island of St. Helena. Napoleon barely knew Las Cases at the time. Las Cases spoke fluent English and was invaluable to Napoleon who didn't speak English. (Las Cases gave Napoleon English lessons.) The Count published this memoir of his intimate friendship with Napoleon including Napoleon's thoughts on all kinds of topics. Also described their shabby treatment at the hands of the English government. If Napoleon hadn't been exiled to St. Helena we wouldn't have known so much about his personality, behavior (he liked to pinch people's ears as a tease), physical appearance, and innermost thoughts. Napoleon wanted to hear the Court gossip about himself. He enjoyed scurrilous English books about himself. Napoleon had a great sense of humor. Las Cases wrote the book so people would know what Napoleon was really like. It was a best-seller at the time. This book is a page-turner! It's also poignant because Napoleon was separated from his family and it didn't seem that he was allowed to communicate with them. He was also constantly under guard which was unnecessary and depressing to him.
Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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