“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 …

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“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 …

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“It once served… one of our most valiant sovereigns”

Murat entered Warsaw on the 28th of November, 1806, enthusiastically welcomed by the Poles, who believed the French would bring them independence. Even the Duchess d'Abrantes, who was no great admirer of Murat, wrote of that his "splendid type of chivalrous valour... pleased that brave and most impressionable people, which was ready to follow with …

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“The public tranquility was troubled this morning…”

Murat was sent to Spain in February of 1808, to act as Napoleon’s lieutenant and take command of all French forces in the country. Spain was in political turmoil, its citizens on the brink of revolt against the unpopular minister Godoy. Napoleon, having not yet determined on what course of action he wished to pursue, …

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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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“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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“This latest separation seems more unbearable…”

Apologies for the infrequent updates lately; I've been working on a side project involving Caroline Murat's 1810 letters to her husband, which may or may not turn into something bigger down the line. So here is one of those letters, written in the middle of Caroline's very long absence from Naples that lasted roughly nine …

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