“My Father… showed less firmness than the Queen”

Picking back up with Louise Murat's memoirs, we reach Murat's fateful decision to abandon Napoleon and ally himself to Austria. Louise makes a compelling argument in defense of her father's choice; she also contrasts her father's visible torment over the decision with her mother's stoicism. Source: Souvenirs d’enfance d’une fille de Joachim Murat, by Louise …

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“Their farewells were full of sadness”

In this excerpt from Louise Murat's memoirs, we arrive at the final meeting between Napoleon and Murat, and Murat's fateful decision to join the Allies--a decision which Louise argues was made for the good of Murat's subjects, and very much against his own personal inclinations. But Louise doesn’t balk from assigning some blame for her …

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“The public insult made to his honor”

Continuing on with Louise Murat's memoirs, we reach what not only Louise herself, but most historians likewise regard as the pivotal moment in the Murat/Napoleon relationship: the unhappy conclusion of the 1812 campaign. Louise points out that prior to this, the two men had always managed to overcome their previous differences upon being reunited again …

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“My Father did not always tread this path with prudence”

In this excerpt from Louise Murat's memoirs, Louise describes the political factionalism of the Neapolitan court, and its effects on the relationship of the King and Queen, each of whom served as a figurehead for one of the rival factions. Louise also discusses a major political mistake made by Joachim in 1811 which precipitated a …

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“A very cruel blow to the self-esteem of my Father”

In this excerpt from Louise Murat's memoirs, Louise continues to discuss the accumulating circumstances which eventually led to her father's defection from Napoleon, focusing now on the way in which the Emperor undermined King Joachim during his campaign against Sicily in 1810. If there can be said to be a pivotal moment in the deteriorating …

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“The fall of this colossus”

In this excerpt from Louise Murat's memoirs, Louise turns away from reminiscing about her daily life growing up as a royal princess in Naples, and embarks on a more serious subject: the fall of Napoleon in 1814, and her father's actions which many--including Napoleon--believed directly contributed to the Emperor's dethronement. Here we see Louise combining, …

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“He let us turn everything upside-down”

In this excerpt from Louise Murat's memoirs, Louise reminisces about the idyllic moments when her parents, in between the endless stresses of ruling a kingdom, found relief by spending time with their children. She also recounts the antics of her older brothers, Achille and Lucien, whose rowdiness occasionally necessitated her father's intervention. *** Aside from …

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“His very hairstyle… for which he has often been reproached”

Murat--possessed, it must be said, of considerable vanity--relished standing out in a crowd, and went to great effort to do so, tailoring every feature of his appearance in such a way as to distinguish himself among others. Both his contemporaries and modern historians alike have written extensively on the subject of his eye-catching, custom-made uniforms, …

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