“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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“Of what value were these men…?”

Part 7 of excerpts from General Pépé's memoirs takes us to the beginning of Murat's final campaign. We left off with Pépé discussing Napoleon's departure from Elba and alleged communications with Murat, and Pépé's criticisms of Murat for indecisiveness and not having begun the campaign with a large enough force. Here, Pépé discusses (and deplores) …

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“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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“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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