“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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“I had gone to him… in true despair”

My good friend JosefaVomJaaga has graciously allowed me to share her translation of an excerpt on Murat from Friedrich von Müller’s Erinnerungen aus den Kriegszeiten von (Memoirs of the Wartime of) 1806-1813. Müller (1779-1849) was a Bavarian statesman, and a friend of Goethe; he would eventually manage to persuade Napoleon to permit Weimar to retain …

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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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“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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“Of what value were these men…?”

Part 7 of excerpts from General Pépé's memoirs takes us to the beginning of Murat's final campaign. We left off with Pépé discussing Napoleon's departure from Elba and alleged communications with Murat, and Pépé's criticisms of Murat for indecisiveness and not having begun the campaign with a large enough force. Here, Pépé discusses (and deplores) …

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