“The public tranquility was troubled this morning…”

Murat was sent to Spain in February of 1808, to act as Napoleon’s lieutenant and take command of all French forces in the country. Spain was in political turmoil, its citizens on the brink of revolt against the unpopular minister Godoy. Napoleon, having not yet determined on what course of action he wished to pursue, …

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“A time of continuous fête and revelry”

To commemorate Joachim & Caroline Murat's shared birthday (25 March of 1767 and 1782, respectively) this year, I've compiled some accounts recorded by three visitors to Naples--two English and one Irish--between the fall of Napoleon in 1814 and his return from Elba in 1815. The first account is from the English poet Samuel Rogers; the …

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“He had nonetheless ceased to reign”

The second part of General Belliard’s account of the events following his arrival in Naples in April 1815. Following Murat’s failed campaign against Austria, both the Austrians and English refuse to have any further dealings with him, and will negotiate terms only with his wife, Queen Caroline. Murat’s reign comes to an abrupt end; he …

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“Everything captures the imagination”

Two letters from Caroline Murat, newly-crowned Queen of Naples; the first to her uncle, Cardinal Fesch; the second, to her sister-in-law/friend/rival Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland. Caroline has only recently arrived in Naples, and is not quite adjusted to her new home yet; her accommodations are dreadful, and she already feels forgotten by her …

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“Napoleon… had prepared the future defection”

Continuing with Murat-related extracts from the memoirs of Baron de Dedem, Dutch ambassador to the court of Naples. Dedem discusses Murat's 1810 expedition to conquer Sicily--the general perception of the populace (and Napoleon) that it would not succeed, and Murat's reaction to its ensuing failure (which Murat would blame at least partially on Napoleon). Source: Un …

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