“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 …

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

“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 …

Continue reading “They led him to his doom.”

“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. …

Continue reading “A colleague whose presence offended their gaze”

“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 …

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

“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 …

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

“I could not help being struck by the contrast…”

We have come, at long last, to the final letter Murat wrote to Napoleon before signing his treaty with Austria. In the final of days of 1813, General Adam Albert, the Count of Neipperg, arrived in Naples carrying an ultimatum from Metternich; either Murat was to finally commit himself, after months of vacillating, to the …

Continue reading “I could not help being struck by the contrast…”

“I have fully acquitted my debt towards the Empire and towards Your Majesty”

Continuing on, after a long pause, with my translations of Murat's final letters to Napoleon in 1813 leading up to his defection at the beginning of 1814. I'm including two letters in this post because the first one is too short to merit its own; but the second more than makes up for it, at …

Continue reading “I have fully acquitted my debt towards the Empire and towards Your Majesty”

“A long absence is very painful for one with a sensitive soul”

I came upon a gem today--a book of published correspondence from the 1812 campaign, specifically a compilation of letters intercepted by the Russians, both from and to soldiers in the Grande Armée. You can find the book on HathiTrust here (it might not be viewable outside the US, but it's probably elsewhere online as well). …

Continue reading “A long absence is very painful for one with a sensitive soul”