“I had gone to him… in true despair”

My good friend JosefaVomJaaga has graciously allowed me to share her translation of an excerpt on Murat from Friedrich von Müller’s Erinnerungen aus den Kriegszeiten von (Memoirs of the Wartime of) 1806-1813. Müller (1779-1849) was a Bavarian statesman, and a friend of Goethe; he would eventually manage to persuade Napoleon to permit Weimar to retain …

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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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“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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“The people perceived… the sad exchange they had made”

In the last excerpt I posted from the memoirs of Dedem--who was no admirer of Murat--we see Dedem praise Murat for ruling in the interests of his subjects, for reforming and modernizing the Neapolitan administrative, financial, and judicial systems, and for instituting various public works projects. I've found some more excerpts that echo Dedem's sentiments …

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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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