Napoleon Bonaparte: A Romantic Novelist?
May 9, 2009
(ChattahBox)—A romantic novella penned by Napoleon Bonaparte at the age of 26, has been translated from French to English and is due to be published in the fall. Pages of the short novel were found among Bonaparte’s personal belongings when he died at the young age of 51-years-old. Nearly two hundred years later, the scattered pages, were finally collected and translated, which reveal the romantic side of one of the greatest military leaders in history.
After Bonaparte’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, he spent his remaining days in exile on the island of Saint Helena. After he died, the single pages of his handwritten novel were split up among various collectors, with some sold at auction. After a painstaking reconstruction of all of the pages, the novel was published in French last year, by Gallic Publishing.
The english translation was done by Peter Hicks and Emily Barthet and the finished book will include an essay on Napoleon by psychiatrist Armand Cabasson.
The fictional novel is entitled, “Clisson et Eugénie” and tells the story of a torrid and tragic 19th century love affair between a soldier and a French woman, named Eugénie. It’s thought Bonaparte took inspiration for his work of fiction from his own affair with Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary, whose sister was married to his brother Joseph.
Some of the passages from Bonaparte’s novel are thick with emotion, describing the death of the lovelorn soldier in the story, as “pierce by a thousand blows.” One passage from Eugénie, says “… I threw myself on your body: it was icy cold. I wanted to bring you back to life with my breath…”
If you are interested in a little 19th century French romance, written by Napoleon Bonaparte fresh from a passionate love affairof his own, it will be available in October.