“We would be driven to a state of barbarism”

Continuing with Louise Murat's memoirs, we arrive at Murat's decision, in 1815, to march in support of Napoleon following his brother-in-law's triumphant return from Elba. Murat had been urged by Joseph Bonaparte to try to convince Emperor Francis of Austria to ally himself to Napoleon; but the letter Murat ends up sending Francis towards the …

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“My annoying opposition to his politics”

Part 3 of Murat-related excerpts from the memoirs of Neapolitan General Guglielmo Pépé. In this excerpt, Pépé discusses the first, ultimately unsuccessful attempt at pushing King Joachim to grant the Neapolitans a constitution in 1814; Lord William Bentinck's personal dislike for Murat; and Murat's inclination towards rewarding those of his generals whose politics (unlike Pépé's) …

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“You can never know how attached to you I am”

Today--25 March--is the shared birthday of Joachim & Caroline Murat (in 1767 & 1782, respectively), so I've put together a little something to provide some insight into their relationship. There's one period in particular during which an abundance of letters exists from Caroline to Joachim: their long separation(s) during most of 1810. Joachim and Caroline …

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“The false words attributed to him”

Emmanuel-Augustin-Dieudonné-Joseph, Count de Las Cases, was one of the few men to voluntarily accompany Napoleon into exile on Saint Helena, along with his son. There, he served the deposed Emperor as a secretary, recording numerous conversations with Napoleon and taking extensive notes, which he later turned into the Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène following his expulsion from the island …

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“I could have fallen at his feet and worshipped him”

Part 2 of Murat-related excerpts from the memoirs of Guglielmo Pépé. This part begins with Pépé's recollection of his first meeting with Murat in Florence in 1802, continues with the crowning and general reception of Murat as King of Naples six years later (and their reaction to Napoleon naming Caroline his immediate heir), and ends …

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“They led him to his doom.”

In this excerpt from Louise Murat's memoirs, Louise discusses how her father became drawn into the cause of Italian unification, why he broke away from the Allies in 1815, and his final, disastrous campaign against Austria.  Source: Louise Murat, Souvenirs d’enfance d’une fille de Joachim Murat, pages 206-213. *** It was thus that after fall of Napoleon, tranquility was …

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