“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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“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 …

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