“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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“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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“His eyes… were very similar to those of cats”

Returning to the memoirs of Louise Murat; Louise pauses from relating the events of the last days of her parents' reign in Naples, to provide some interesting perspectives on two well-known (and controversial) figures who visited the Kingdom in 1813 and 1814, respectively: Joseph Fouché, Napoleon's notorious former Minister of Police; and Louise's aunt, Pauline …

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