“We would be driven to a state of barbarism”

Continuing with Louise Murat's memoirs, we arrive at Murat's decision, in 1815, to march in support of Napoleon following his brother-in-law's triumphant return from Elba. Murat had been urged by Joseph Bonaparte to try to convince Emperor Francis of Austria to ally himself to Napoleon; but the letter Murat ends up sending Francis towards the …

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“The false words attributed to him”

Emmanuel-Augustin-Dieudonné-Joseph, Count de Las Cases, was one of the few men to voluntarily accompany Napoleon into exile on Saint Helena, along with his son. There, he served the deposed Emperor as a secretary, recording numerous conversations with Napoleon and taking extensive notes, which he later turned into the Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène following his expulsion from the island …

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“I could have fallen at his feet and worshipped him”

Part 2 of Murat-related excerpts from the memoirs of Guglielmo Pépé. This part begins with Pépé's recollection of his first meeting with Murat in Florence in 1802, continues with the crowning and general reception of Murat as King of Naples six years later (and their reaction to Napoleon naming Caroline his immediate heir), and ends …

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“They led him to his doom.”

In this excerpt from Louise Murat's memoirs, Louise discusses how her father became drawn into the cause of Italian unification, why he broke away from the Allies in 1815, and his final, disastrous campaign against Austria.  Source: Louise Murat, Souvenirs d’enfance d’une fille de Joachim Murat, pages 206-213. *** It was thus that after fall of Napoleon, tranquility was …

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“A colleague whose presence offended their gaze”

In this excerpt from Louise Murat's memoirs, Louise discusses the reconciliation between Murat and Napoleon, the political situation during the First Restoration which eventually led to her father breaking away from his new allies, and counters a number of criticisms of her father's conduct in 1815. Source: Louise Murat, Souvenirs d'enfance d'une fille de Joachim Murat, pages 196-206. …

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“I am for you now only the man who is tolerated with difficulty”

Murat's relationship with Napoleon was tempestuous, and at some point in the near future I'm planning to attempt a thorough, multi-part write-up on it. I've covered a lot of the events/correspondence between them in 1813 leading up to Murat's defection, but it should be understood that their relationship had been in a fairly steady decline …

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“You have deigned to notice that I was a bit late…”

I translated a couple amusing little letters exchanged between Murat & Eugène de Beauharnais recently as part of a longer write-up on their relationship in response to a query from a Tumblr friend of mine, so I figured I'd post them here as well. In June of 1805, Napoleon made his stepson Eugène the Viceroy …

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