“Surrender yourself thus to his orders”

Part 4 of my translation of Albert Vandal’s Le Roi et la Reine de Naples. Caroline Murat is in Paris, preparing for Napoleon's second wedding, while her husband remains in Naples. The Emperor, perhaps hoping to drive a further wedge in the marriage of his youngest sister and Murat, offers her the prestigious position of superintendent of …

Continue reading “Surrender yourself thus to his orders”

“A permanent state of distrust”

Part 2 of my translation of Albert Vandal's Le Roi et la Reine de Naples. In this part, Vandal describes the rifts which began developing between Joachim and Caroline Murat soon after taking the throne of Naples. These largely stemmed from Murat's insecurities about being potentially overshadowed--or dominated--by his wife, especially due to Napoleon's wording …

Continue reading “A permanent state of distrust”

“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 …

Continue reading “A time of continuous fête and revelry”

“Captivity and death are to me synonymous.”

On 28 September, 1815, Murat made his fateful decision to reject the Austrian passports and offer of asylum brought to him by his former aide-de-camp, Francis Macirone, who had received them from Metternich; Murat was expected, under the designated terms, to abdicate and choose a name to live under as a private citizen (Caroline Murat …

Continue reading “Captivity and death are to me synonymous.”

“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 …

Continue reading “He had nonetheless ceased to reign”

“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 …

Continue reading “Everything captures the imagination”