Sunday, 12 April 2015

Napoleon Bonaparte - Portrait of a dictator as a young writer.

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s first and last novel, Clisson et Eugenie, was published in France in 2007 and in English translation in 2009. 

Set in 1795, the action of the 17-page epic novella centres around a young French general of Corsican origin who spends several weeks in an enchanting residence near Lyon. He is 26 years old and weary of making war, and finds solace from his melancholy in the arms of 15 year old Eugenie. 

Seven years of bliss follow, and then the general, now 33 years old, is called once more to the service of his country. Then, tragically, he is wounded in battle and sends news of his misfortune to Eugenie through one of his officers. But alas the officer does not return and his beloved Eugenie does not write to him. 

Feeling doubly betrayed, our hero launches himself headlong into the next battle, and is killed by a thousand wounds.

The dejected Emperor contemplates his betrayal.

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