maandag 21 maart 2016

The King of Rome, Napoleon II

Read all about the birth of the King of Rome:  shannonselin/birth-king-of-rome/

Napoleon, a prey to silent agitation, watched this painful scene, encouraging all present by his brave attitude. At last, after many efforts, and in the midst of so much anguish, the so-impatiently-desired child came to light. It was a son, pale, motionless, and to all appearances lifeless. In spite of all the measures taken in such cases, the child remained seven minutes without giving any signs of life. The Emperor standing in front of him was following in silence and with an air of profound attention, every movement of the accoucheur, when at last he saw the child’s breast rise, the mouth open and a breath exhaled. He feared lest it might be the first and last, but a cry escaping from the child’s lungs tells him that his son has taken possession of life. All anxiety then ceases. In the effusion of his joy Napoleon bent over the child, seized it in his arms, with a spontaneous movement, carried it to the door of the drawing-room in which all the grandees of his Empire were assembled and presenting it to them said: ‘Here is the King of Rome.’ He then returned and placed the child back in M. Dubois’s hands saying: ‘I give you back your child.’ …

Read about the life of Napolein II shannonselin/napoleon-ii

Painting: Napoleon II, styled King of Rome, later Duke of Reichstadt, by Thomas Lawrence, 1818-1819

donderdag 17 maart 2016

The Countess, Napoleon and St. Helena: In Exile With The Emperor 1815 to 1821

When Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to the remote island of St. Helena after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 he took with him twenty-four people, including his doctor, servants and four of his Generals.

One of the Generals, Count Henri-Gatien Bertrand, was Napoleon’s Grand Marshal of the Palace. Count Bertrand was accompanied by his wife Countess Françoise Elisabeth (Fanny) Bertrand and their three children. Tall, elegant and aristocratic the Countess was a feisty and beautiful young woman who had shone in French Society. She hated the island of St. Helena ‘The Devil shit this place as he flew from one continent to the other’ she said on her arrival. But loyal to her husband she stayed by his side until Napoleon’s death on 5th May 1821 and was at the ex-Emperor’s bedside when he died. Read more Countess-Napoleon-St-Helena

The Bertrand’s Cottage on St Helena, built 1816

zaterdag 12 maart 2016

What did Napoleon’s wives think of each other?

In September 1810, Napoleon advised Josephine that the new Empress was pregnant. It was suggested to Josephine that she leave Paris during Marie Louise’s confinement. Josephine was thus at Navarre on March 20, 1811, when the ringing of bells and booming of cannons announced the birth of Napoleon’s and Marie Louise’s son, the King of Rome. She wrote to Napoleon:
Amid the numerous felicitations you receive from every corner of Europe…can the feeble voice of a woman reach your ear, and will you deign to listen to her who so often consoled your sorrows and sweetened your pains, now that she speaks to you only of that happiness in which all your wishes are fulfilled! … I can conceive every emotion you must experience, as you divine all that I feel at this moment; and though separated, we are united by that sympathy which survives all events.
I should have desired to learn of the birth of the King of Rome from yourself, and not from the sound of the cannon of Evreux, or the courier of the prefect. I know, however, that in preference to all, your first attentions are due to the public authorities of the State, to the foreign ministers, to your family, and especially to the fortunate Princess who has realized your dearest hopes. She cannot be more tenderly devoted to you than I; but she has been enabled to contribute more toward your happiness by securing that of France. She has then a right to your first feelings, to all your cares; and I, who was but your companion in times of difficulty – I cannot ask more than a place in your affection far removed from that occupied by the Empress Maria Louisa. Not till you shall have ceased to watch by her bed, not till you are weary of embracing your son, will you take the pen to converse with your best friend – I will wait. (1)

Read all: shannonselin/what-did-napoleons-wives-think-of-each-other/ 


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