Item description for Napoleon on Elba: The Diary of an Eyewitness to Exile by Neil Campbell & Jonathan North...
In April 1814 Napoleon Bonaparte, onetime emperor of France and master of Europe, was exiled to the island of Elba. Colonel Neil Campbell was instructed to accompany the fallen monarch.
Part guardian, part spy, Campbell monitored Napoleon and kept an observant watch on the comings and goings of his confidents and much reduced household staff. He eavesdropped on the island's gossip, conversed almost daily with Napoleon, attempted to gain his trust and sought to gauge his intentions.
For a year, Campbell kept an intimate diary of events on the tiny island. It paints character studies of all the key personalities and wades into island gossip with relish. It records events as Napoleon builds an empire in miniature on Elba and it keeps an eye on the coming and going of agents and would-be assassins. Frank and enlightening it also reveals much about the personality of Napoleon and of the tensions and subterfuge within the exiled community as Napoleon devises and implements his plans for an escape.
The vivid diary is now published in a new accessible edition and it is essential reading for anyone with an interest in this era when the fate of empires hung in the balance.
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