“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 …

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

“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 …

Continue reading “The false words attributed to him”

“I am for you now only the man who is tolerated with difficulty”

Murat's relationship with Napoleon was tempestuous, and at some point in the near future I'm planning to attempt a thorough, multi-part write-up on it. I've covered a lot of the events/correspondence between them in 1813 leading up to Murat's defection, but it should be understood that their relationship had been in a fairly steady decline …

Continue reading “I am for you now only the man who is tolerated with difficulty”

“You have deigned to notice that I was a bit late…”

I translated a couple amusing little letters exchanged between Murat & Eugène de Beauharnais recently as part of a longer write-up on their relationship in response to a query from a Tumblr friend of mine, so I figured I'd post them here as well. In June of 1805, Napoleon made his stepson Eugène the Viceroy …

Continue reading “You have deigned to notice that I was a bit late…”

“I could not help being struck by the contrast…”

We have come, at long last, to the final letter Murat wrote to Napoleon before signing his treaty with Austria. In the final of days of 1813, General Adam Albert, the Count of Neipperg, arrived in Naples carrying an ultimatum from Metternich; either Murat was to finally commit himself, after months of vacillating, to the …

Continue reading “I could not help being struck by the contrast…”

“I have fully acquitted my debt towards the Empire and towards Your Majesty”

Continuing on, after a long pause, with my translations of Murat's final letters to Napoleon in 1813 leading up to his defection at the beginning of 1814. I'm including two letters in this post because the first one is too short to merit its own; but the second more than makes up for it, at …

Continue reading “I have fully acquitted my debt towards the Empire and towards Your Majesty”

“A long absence is very painful for one with a sensitive soul”

I came upon a gem today--a book of published correspondence from the 1812 campaign, specifically a compilation of letters intercepted by the Russians, both from and to soldiers in the Grande Armée. You can find the book on HathiTrust here (it might not be viewable outside the US, but it's probably elsewhere online as well). …

Continue reading “A long absence is very painful for one with a sensitive soul”

“She has terribly pointy bones”

In February of 1810, Caroline Murat was in Paris, shortly to depart to meet her soon-to-be sister-in-law Marie-Louise of Austria, and bring her back to France for her upcoming wedding to Napoleon. Meanwhile, Murat remained in Naples, unhappily preparing for his impending return to Paris, to attend that same wedding (which he’d advised against, imploring …

Continue reading “She has terribly pointy bones”