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  • Charles-Marie BONAPARTE

    He was born in Ajaccio, Corsica as the youngest of three children. His father, Nobile Giuseppe Buonaparte, had represented Ajaccio at the Council of Corte in 1749. Carlo initially followed in his father's footsteps and studied to be a lawyer at Pisa University, but following a substantial inheritance from the death of his father, he left before earning his degree in order to marry Donna Maria Letizia Ramolino. Both were of Corsican nobility, and very young at the time of their marriage (Carlo was seventeen and Letizia was fourteen). Their marriage is often seen as one of economic convenience. Buonaparte's new wife brought with her a dowry of thirty-one acres, including a mill and bakery which yielded an annual income of roughly £10,000.

    For a period after his marriage at Ajaccio on 2/7 June 1764, he worked as a secretary and personal assistant to Pasquale Paoli. He had a son, Napoleone, who died in infancy in 1765 as did a daughter. Paoli sent him to Rome to negotiate with Pope Clement XIII in 1766. He had apparently enjoyed his time in Rome up until being forced for reasons unknown back to Corsica in 1768 - though he had possibly enjoyed an affair with a married woman during his stay which led to his departure. At the time of his return, the Republic of Genoa had offered Corsica to Louis XV as payment for a debt. The French were eager to obtain the strategically placed island for the protection of their own coasts, and Genoa equally keen to relinquish control given their inability to resist growing independence movements. Buonaparte was noted for a fervent speech against the French "invasion". Political upheaval followed as France gained ownership of Corsica, and many of Paoli's supporters had to flee to the mountains. Buonaparte and his family, now boasting newborn Giuseppe, who was the first child to survive infancy, were included. The family eventually returned to the town, where Buonaparte's wife gave birth to third son, another Napoleone, within Ajaccio Cathedral.

    Soon after French acquisition of the island, Carlo Buonaparte embraced the new government. He was appointed Assessor of the Royal Jurisdiction of Ajaccio and the neighbouring districts on 20 September 1769. Shortly after that he became a Doctor in Laws at the University of Pisa on 27 November 1769.

    In April 1770, the French administration created a Corsican Order of Nobility. He became an advocate of the Superior Council of Corsica on 11 December 1769 and a Substitute Procurator of the King of France in Ajaccio in October 1770. Carlo already possessed the title of a "Noble Patrician of Tuscany" (Nobile Patrizio di Toscana) since 1769 by permission of the Archbishop of Pisa due to his ancestry, and had his nobility confirmed on 13 September 1771. He then became the assessor of the Royal Jurisdiction of Ajaccio in February 1771, Deputy of the Nobility in the General States of Corsica on 13 September 1771, Member of the Council of the Twelve Nobles of Dila (Western Corsica) on May 1772, Deputy of the Nobility of Corsica at the Royal French Court in July 1777 and finally he was named Corsica's Representative to the Court of Louis XVI of France at Versailles in 1778.

    Despite being honored with many titles, Buonaparte's dissatisfied nature led him to embark in risky business enterprises. He made many claims on land and money through legal means, but his success was limited and he burned through his finances rapidly. His apparent fondness of gambling worsened his monetary difficulties. Buonaparte made note of his situation in his account book:
    In Paris, I received 4,000 francs from the King and a fee of 1,000 crowns from the government, but I came back without a penny.

    By 1782, Buonaparte was beginning to grow weak, and was suffering from constant pain. He traveled to Montpellier to seek proper medical care. Nothing could be done to quell the effects of what was believed to be stomach cancer, the same disease that may have killed his famous son, Napoleon. Carlo Buonaparte died on 24 February 1785, and, due to his frivolous spending, left his surviving wife and eight children penniless. Carlo Buonaparte's youngest son was born only three months before he died.

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  • Caroline Bonaparte

    Caroline was born in Ajaccio, Corsica. She was a younger sister of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoléon Bonaparte, Lucien Bonaparte, Elisa Bonaparte, Louis Bonaparte and Pauline Bonaparte. She was an older sister of Jérôme Bonaparte.

    In 1793, Caroline moved with her family to France during the French Revolution. There, she fell in love with Joachim Murat, one of her brother's generals, and they married on 20 January 1800. Caroline was seventeen years old. Initially, Napoleon did not wish to allow them to marry, however, his wife Joséphine de Beauharnais persuaded him to change his mind. Caroline had been a pupil at the school in St-Germain-en-Laye founded by Madame Jeanne Campan. She attended the school at the same time as Hortense, Joséphine's daughter and Caroline's brother Louis' wife.

    Ambitious, extravagant, and power-hungry, she became Grand Duchess of Berg and Cleves on 15 March 1806 and Queen consort of Naples on 1 August 1808. She was intensely jealous of her sister-in-law Joséphine and her children, as she felt Napoleon favored them over his Bonaparte relatives. Caroline continuously plotted against Joséphine. It was Caroline who arranged for Napoleon to take a mistress, Éléonore Denuelle, who duly gave birth to his first illegitimate child. This had the desired effect of establishing that Joséphine was infertile as Napoleon showed he was clearly capable of siring children.

    When Napoleon married his second Empress Consort Marie Louise of Austria, Caroline was responsible for escorting her to France. After meeting her at the border of Austria and her duchy, Caroline forced Marie-Louise to leave all her luggage, servants, and even her pet dog, behind in Austria.

    Consequently, she devoted herself to the interests of her husband Joachim Murat, the King of Naples. Her relations with Napoleon became increasingly strained in 1813–1814, as Joachim shifted allegiances. She supported his decision to make a separate peace with the anti-Napoleonic allies, keeping his throne while Napoleon was deposed. Then, during the Hundred Days of 1815, Joachim came out for Napoleon. He was defeated and executed, and Caroline fled to the Austrian Empire. Whilst in exile, she adopted the title 'Countess of Lipona'; 'Lipona' being an anagram of 'Napoli' (Naples).

    In 1830, she married Francesco Macdonald (1777–1837), who had been Minister of War of the Kingdom of Naples in 1814 and 1815. She lived in Florence until her death in 1839. The couple had no children.

    Died in 1839, Caroline was buried at the Chiesa di Ognissanti, in Florence.

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  • Pauline Bonaparte

    She was the sixth child of Letizia Ramolino and Carlo Buonaparte, Corsica's representative to the court of King Louis XVI of France. Her elder brother, Napoleon, was the first Emperor of the French. She married Charles Leclerc, a French general, a union ended by his death in 1802. Later, she married Camillo Borghese, 6th Prince of Sulmona. Her only child, Dermide Leclerc, born from her first marriage, died in infancy. She was the only Bonaparte sibling to visit Napoleon on his principality, Elba.

    Maria Paola Buonaparte, the sixth child of Letizia Ramolino and Carlo Buonaparte, Corsica's representative to the court of King Louis XVI of France, was born on 20 October 1780 in Ajaccio, Corsica. She was popularly known as "Paoletta", and her family soon took a French spelling of their surname, Bonaparte. Little is known about her childhood, except that she received no formal education. Following Carlo's death in 1785, the family was plunged into poverty.

    Her brother Lucien Bonaparte made seditious comments at the local Jacobin chapter in the summer of 1793, forcing the family to flee to the mainland. It was there on the mainland that she became known as "Paulette". The income the Bonapartes earned from their vineyards and other holdings on Corsica was interrupted by the English occupation. Their existence became so dire that the Bonaparte women reportedly resorted to washing clothes for payment. Regardless, they received, like other Corsican refugees following the English invasion, a stipend from the government. From their landing place, Toulon, they moved to Marseille, where General Napoleon Bonaparte, her elder brother, introduced her to Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron, the proconsul of Marseille. He intended them to marry, but Letizia objected. Napoleon, despite the fact that Pauline loved Stanislas, married her to General Charles Leclerc in French-occupied Milan on 14 June 1797. Napoleon returned to Paris and delegated the office of commander-in-chief of the French army in Italy to his brother-in-law. Pauline gave birth to a boy, Dermide Louis Napoleon, on 20 April 1798. In celebration, General Leclerc acquired a property outside Novellara worth 160,000 French francs. Ill-health forced Leclerc to resign from his military post in October of the same year; he was transferred to Paris. Leclerc was again relocated upon arrival, this time to Brittany. Pauline stayed in Paris with Dermide. Laure de Permond—the future Duchesse d'Abrantès—and her mother welcomed Pauline into their salon at the rue Saint-Croix. Napoleon seized power in Coup of Brumaire in November 1799: deposing the Directory, he pronounced himself First Consul.

    Saint-Domingue had been a French colony since 1697, but had been in rebellion against France since 1791. Napoleon wished to restore French authority there, and so organized an expedition. He put General Leclerc at its head, appointing him Governor-General of the island. Leclerc, Dermide, and Pauline embarked for the colony from Brest on 14 December 1801. Leclerc's fleet totaled 74 ships. The gubernatorial family occupied the flagship, l'Océan. After a 45-day journey, the fleet arrived in Le Cap harbour. The Governor-General ordered General Christophe, who commanded a force of 5,000 soldiers, to resign Le Cap to French authority. After all attempts at conciliation failed, Leclerc attacked the town under cover of darkness. Christophe responded by razing Le Cap to the ground. Pauline, meanwhile, was left aboard the flagship with their son. According to Leclerc, in a letter dated 5 March to Napoleon, "The disastrous events in the midst of which she [Pauline] found herself wore her down to the point of making her ill."  Leclerc succeeded in requisitioning the capitulation of the rebel leader, Toussaint L'ouverture, in May.

    However, celebrations were dampened by the advent of yellow fever season. 25 generals and 25,000 soldiers died from the fever. Leclerc had initially guaranteed that slavery, abolished by the Jacobin republic in 1794, would stay proscribed; however, the inhabitants caught wind of its re-establishment in another French colony, neighbouring Guadeloupe, in July. The French government had eliminated slavery in May. As a result, the indigenous residents of Saint-Domingue planned an insurrection for September 16. Black troops in Leclerc's army defected to their old commanders, and the Governor-General had a mere 2,000 men against the rebels' 10,000. Leclerc, fearing for Pauline's safety, gave express orders to Jacques de Norvin, a sergeant, to remove Pauline from Saint-Domingue at a moment's notice, but these precautions proved unnecessary when Leclerc defeated the insurgents.

    The climate was taking its toll on Pauline's health. She could no longer walk and was compelled to a "reclining position" for several hours a day. Both she and Dermide suffered from spells of yellow fever. She did, however, find time to take numerous lovers, including several of her husband's soldiers, and developed a reputation for "Bacchanalian promiscuity."

    Leclerc attempted to convince Pauline to return to Paris in August. She consented on the condition that "he [Leclerc]...give me 100,000 francs." When the Governor-General refused, she elected to stay in Saint-Domingue; observing that unlike in Paris, "Here, I reign like Josephine

    Napoleon's wife; I hold first place."

    To occupy herself, she compiled a collection of local flora and established a menagerie, inhabited by native animals.

    On 22 October 1802, Leclerc fell ill. A doctor from the military hospital in Le Cap diagnosed him with a fever "caused by the bodily and mental hardships that the general [Leclerc] had suffered." Biographer Flora Fraser believes that his symptoms were consistent with those of yellow fever. He died on 1 November. Seven days later, Pauline, Dermide, and Leclerc's remains were hastily ferried back to mainland France.

    Pauline reached the Bay of Toulon on 1 January 1803. That same day she wrote to Napoleon: "I have brought with me the remains of my poor Leclerc. Pity poor Pauline, who is truly unhappy."

    On February 11, she arrived in the capital, where Napoleon made arrangements for her to lodge with their brother Joseph. Parisian rumour had it that she extracted gold and jewels from the indigenous peoples in Saint-Domingue and brought the treasure back in Leclerc's sarcophagus, but this was not the case. She inherited 700,000 francs in liquid capital and assets from Leclerc. This was not a sizeable sum at the time.

    Tiring of life with Joseph, Pauline went about acquiring Hôtel Charost from the duchess to whom it belonged. She confided in a friend that she "was bored" with the code of mourning outlined in the First Consul's civil code, compelling her to withdraw from Parisian society, which, before her time in Saint-Domingue, had had her at its center. Napoleon did not wish her to remain unmarried for long; he tried—but failed—to betroth her to the Duke of Lodi and Vice-President of the Napoleonic Republic of Italy, Francesco Melzi d'Eril. Pope Pius VII's envoy, Giovanni Battista Caprara, suggested Camillo Borghese, 6th Prince of Sulmona, a Roman noble. The First Consul believed the union would consolidate ties with French-occupied Italy, where animosity toward the aggressor was rife. That, combined with pressure from her brothers Joseph and Lucien, induced her to marry him. The marriage contract brought Camillo a dowry of 500,000 francs; Pauline, 300,000 francs worth of jewelry and the use of the Borghese family diamonds. On 28 August 1803, they were married by Capara, but without the knowledge of Napoleon, who had wanted a November wedding for mourning protocol's sake. Upon discovering Pauline's deceit, he refused to acknowledge her new title: "Please understand, Madame, that there is no princess where I am." A civil ceremony was held in November to confirm the marriage. However, Pauline continued her extramarital affairs, including an affair with the violinist Niccolò Paganini.

    Camillo, Pauline, and Dermide arrived in Rome on November 14. Pauline, anxious to learn how to behave in Roman society, received tutorship in deportment and dancing. Biographer William Carlton suggests that Pauline—a commoner from Corsica—would never have made such an advantageous match if it weren't for Napoleon's political eminence. Pauline's initial amity toward Camillo soon morphed into dislike. Her son Dermide, always a delicate child, died on August 14, 1804 in the Aldobrandini villa in Frascati, after a violent fever and convulsions. Three years later, in 1807, his remains were moved next to those of his father in the park grounds of the Château de Montgobert.
    After Napoleon's fall

    In 1806, Napoleon made his sister sovereign Princess and Duchess of Guastalla; however, she soon sold the duchy to Parma for six million francs, keeping only the title of Princess of Guastalla. Pauline fell into temporary disfavor with her brother because of her hostility to his second wife, Empress Marie Louise, but when Napoleon's fortune failed, Pauline showed herself more loyal than any of his other sisters and brothers.

    Upon Napoleon's fall, Pauline liquidated all of her assets and moved to Elba, using that money to better Napoleon's condition. She was the only Bonaparte sibling to visit her brother during his exile on Elba.

    After Waterloo Pauline moved to Rome, where she enjoyed the protection of Pope Pius VII (who once was her brother's prisoner), as did her mother, Letizia, (then at a palace on the Piazza Venezia) and other members of the Bonaparte family. Pauline lived in a villa near the Porta Pia that was called Villa Paolina after her and decorated in the Egyptomania style she favored. Her husband, Camillo, moved to Florence to distance himself from her and had a ten-year relationship with a mistress, but even so Pauline persuaded the Pope to convince the prince to return to her only three months before her death from pulmonary tuberculosis in the couple's Palazzo Borghese

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  • Elisa Bonaparte

    Maria Anna (Marie Anne) Elisa Bonaparte Baciocchi Levoy, Princesse Française, Princess of Lucca and Piombino, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Countess of Compignano (3 January 1777 – 7 August 1820), was the fourth surviving child and eldest surviving daughter of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino. A younger sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, she had elder brothers Joseph and Lucien, and younger siblings Louis, Pauline, Caroline and Jerome.

    As Princess of Lucca and Piombino, then Grand Duchess of Tuscany, she became Napoleon's only sister to possess political power. Their relations were sometimes strained due to her sharp tongue. Highly interested in the arts, particularly the theatre, she encouraged them in the territories over which she ruled.


    Élisa was born in Ajaccio, Corsica. She was christened Maria-Anna, but later officially adopted the nickname "Élisa" (her brother Lucien, to whom she was very close in childhood, nicknamed her Elisa). In June 1784, a bursary allowed her to attend the Maison royale de Saint-Louis at Saint-Cyr, where she was frequently visited by her brother Napoleon. Following the French Revolution, the Legislative Assembly decreed the Maison's closure on 16 August 1792 as it shut down institutions associated with the aristocracy. Élisa left on 1 September with Napoleon to return to Ajaccio.

    Around 1795, the Bonaparte family relocated to Marseille. There Élisa got to know Felice Pasquale Baciocchi (who later adopted the surname Levoy). A Corsican nobleman and formerly a captain in the Royal Corse, he had been dismissed from his rank with the outbreak of the French Revolution.

    Élisa married Levoy in a civil ceremony in Marseille on 1 August 1797, followed by a religious ceremony in Mombello, where Napoleon had a villa. He had moved there with his family in June 1797. Concerned about Baciocchi's reputation as a poor captain, Napoleon had some initial reservations about his sister's choice of spouse. Their religious ceremony was held on the same day as her sister Pauline's marriage to general Victor-Emmanuel Leclerc.

    In July, Baciocchi was promoted to Chef de bataillon, with the command of the citadel at Ajaccio. In 1799, the extended Bonaparte family moved to Paris. Élisa set up home at 125 rue de Miromesnil, in the Quartier du Roule, where she held receptions and put on plays.

    During the rise of the Consulate, she and her brother Lucien held an artistic and literary salon at the Hôtel de Brissac, at which she met the journalist Louis de Fontanes, with whom she had a deep friendship for several years. On 14 May 1800, on the death of Lucien's first wife, Christine Boyer, Élisa took Lucien's two daughters under her protection. She placed Charlotte, the eldest, in Madame Campan's boarding school for young women at Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

    At the start of November 1800, Lucien was reassigned from his job as Minister of the Interior to Madrid as French ambassador to the court of the King of Spain. He took Élisa's husband, Félix Baciocchi, as his secretary. Élisa remained in Paris, but maintained a regular correspondence with her brother.

    On 18 May 1804, the French Senate voted in favour of setting up the First French Empire, and Élisa and Napoleon's other sisters were established as members of the Imperial family, both taking the style "Imperial Highness" ("Altesse impériale"). Felice Baciocchi was promoted to général de brigade and later made a senator.
    Her separation from her husband in 1805 was seen favorably by Napoleon (though he soon rejoined her after her promotion to Lucca). On 19 March 1805, Napoleon awarded her the Principality of Piombino, which had been French property for some years and was of major strategic interest to Napoleon due to its proximity to Elba and Corsica. Felice and Élisa took the titles Prince and Princess of Piombino. In June 1805, the oligarchic Republic of Lucca, which had been occupied by France since late 1799, was made a principality and added to Felice and Élisa's domain, their entry into Lucca and investiture ceremony following on 14 July 1805.

    Napoleon had contemptously called Lucca the "dwarf republic", due to its small size in terms of territory, but despite this it was a bulwark of political, religious, and commercial independence. Most of the power over Lucca and Piombino was exercised by Élisa, with Félix taking only a minor role and contenting himself with making military decisions. The inhabitants of Lucca, under French occupation and begrudging the loss of their independence, knew Élisa ironically as "la Madame" and had little sympathy for Napoleon, Élisa, or their attempts to "Frenchify" the republic.

    Very active and concerned with administering the area, Élisa was surrounded at Lucca by ministers who largely remained in place right to the end of her reign. These ministers included her Minister of Justice, Luigi Matteucci, her Minister of the Interior and Foreign Affairs, Francesco Belluomini (replaced in October 1807 by his son Giuseppe), her finance ministers, Jean-Baptiste Froussard (head of the cabinet) and, later, Pierre d'Hautmesnil (with the budget portfolio). She also set up a court and court etiquette inspired by those at the Tuileries.

    On 31 March 1806 Napoleon withdrew Massa and Carrara from the Kingdom of Italy to add to Élisa's possessions. Carrara was one of the biggest white marble suppliers in Europe and Élisa bolstered her prestige by establishing an Académie des Beaux-Arts, designed to host the greatest sculptors and thus make Carrara an exporter of marble statues, which had a greater value than the raw marble. She also set up the Banque Élisienne to give financial aid to sculptors and workers on marble taxes. She reformed the clergy at Lucca and Piombino from May 1806, during which reforms she nationalised their goods and lands and closed down convents which did not also function as hotels or schools. She also carried out legislative reform in Lucca, producing laws inspired by the Code Napoleon (such as the notable "Codice rurale del Principato di Piombino", issued on 24 March 1808) and producing a new penal code which was promulgated in 1807 and first reformed in 1810.

    In 1807 she set up the Committee of Public Charity for distributing charity funds, made up of clergy and lay-people, and also instituted free medical consultations for the poor so as to eradicate the diseases then ravaging Lucca's population. She demolished Piombino's hospital to build a new one in the former monastery of San Anastasia, with the new building opening in 1810, and also set up the Casa Sanitaria, a dispensary in the town's port. On 5 May 1807, decreed the established of the "Committee for the Encouragement of Agriculture, Arts and Commerce" to encourage and finance the invention of new machines and new techniques to increase the territories' agricultural production and experimental plantations such as those of mulberries at Massa, where an École Normale de la Soie (Silk School) was created on 16 August 1808.

    Élisa also set up many teaching establishments in Lucca and, in 1809, a "Direction Générale de l'Instruction Publique" (General Department of Public Education). On 1 December 1807 she set up the "Collège Félix", the only boys' secondary school in the principality. For girls, she began by fixing set curricula for convents that also operated as schools, then set up a body of "dames d'inspection" to verify that these curricula were being adhered to. Teaching of girls aged 5 to 8 was made compulsory, though the laws were not always well applied. On 2 July 1807, Élisa founded the "Institut Élisa" within the limits of a former convent for noble-born girls, to produce well-educated and cultivated future wives. On 29 July 1812, Élisa set up an establishment for young poor girls, the "Congregazione San Felice", though this did not long outlive Élisa's fall.

    As with Napoleon, Élisa set up city improvement works in her territories, mainly to expand the princely palaces. These works were hotly contested, especially in Lucca, where the expansion of the princely palaces necessitated the demolition of the Church of San Pietro in March 1807. She also razed an entire block in Lucca to build a piazza in the French style in front of her city residence (now the seat of the province and the prefecture). That block had included the Church of San Paolo with the venerated image of the Madonna dei miracoli[1] and so its demolition seriously affected the city's medieval architecture and almost sparked a revolt.

    At Massa, she demolished a cathedral on 30 April 1807. The palace at Lucca was fully redecorated and the gardens improved, with the creation of a botanical garden with a menagerie and aviary in 1811. She also began road construction, notably the "route Friedland" to link Massa and Carrara, with work beginning on 15 August 1807 but becoming delayed and only completed in 1820. Lucca's status as a spa town was also bolstered by her improvement of the architecture and decor of the town's baths. She began construction of an aqueduct into Lucca in 1811, but this too was only completed after her fall.
    On 21 March 1801, Lucien Bonaparte and the King of Spain signed the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, which restored Louisiana to France and in exchange established the Kingdom of Etruria by dividing Tuscany. The new kingdom was initially put in the charge of the infante Maria Louisa and her husband, Louis of Etruria, but he soon proved to be a poor ruler and was also soon widowed. Thus, on 29 October 1807, Napoleon signed the Treaty of Fontainebleau with the Spanish court. This transferred Tuscany to France, and, in November of that year, Marie-Louise left the kingdom. From 12 May 1808, Tuscany was entrusted to an intermediary governor, Abdallah Jacques Menou, a French soldier who had converted to Islam during Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, but his way of life and lack of interest in the territory's affairs forced Napoleon to recall him on 5 April 1809. Élisa wished to become Governess of Tuscany in 1808, but she contracted an illness late in the year that prevented her from taking part in state affairs. She recovered in February 1809. A decree was officially created between the second and third of March that year which established the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, made Florence its capital and Élisa its grand duchess. However, the terms of the decree required Élisa to enforce the decisions of Napoleon and his ministers and denied her the power to modify any of these decisions. This was a significant difference compared to the relative autonomy Élisa enjoyed in Lucca and Piombino. The decree also promoted Félix to the rank of général de division.

    On 2 April 1809, Élisa arrived in Florence, where she was coldly received by the nobility. Her arrival coincided with a revolt against compulsory conscription that ended after a mayor and a judge were assassinated. The conscription and many new taxes imposed on Tuscany by Napoleon were sources of conflicts in the region. As at Lucca, Élisa tried to nationalise the goods of the clergy and closed many convents.

    She continued her patronage of arts and science. In 1809, she commissioned the sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini to create busts of her immediate family. The first two volumes of the "Annali del Museo Imperiale di Fisica e Storia Naturale" of Florence were dedicated to her, in 1808 and 1809. The observatory at that museum of physics and natural history was the ancestor of Florence's present-day Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri.

    Élisa later became unwillingly involved in Napoleon's removal of Pope Pius VII. Pius opposed the Empire's annexation of the Papal States, and he refused to renounce his temporal powers. Pius then excommunicated Napoleon in the bull Quum memoranda on 10 June 1809. In response to this intransigence, Napoleon selected a general, Étienne Radet, to remove the pope and eliminate a figure that could rally opposition against the Empire and his regime. The removal occurred on the night of 6 July 1809, and in the pope traveled toward Savona in the days following his ouster. The pope passed by Florence where Élisa did not welcome him in person and also asked Pius to leave the region soon as possible, so as not to displease her brother by being seen as welcoming his enemy.

    Élisa's relations with Napoleon became increasingly strained. Napoleon frequently recalled Élisa for any irregularity in her execution of his orders in Tuscany. On 17 March 1810, Élisa arrived in Paris for Napoleon's marriage to Marie-Louise of Austria, but Napoleon took advantage of her visit to reclaim the payments from his grants of Massa and Carrara. When Élisa returned to Tuscany, she found Napoleon still sought to claim payment of these grants via his envoys. Élisa refused to pay a second time, arguing that the territories had too few resources to pay Napoleon's demanded 200,000 lira. Napoleon threatened to seize Carrara from Élisa and also demanded Lucca raise men by conscription. Lucca was previously spared this burden prior to May 1811, and Napoleon's demands eroded Élisa support in Lucca. Élisa returned to Lucca from Florence and restored the villa now known as the Villa Reale di Marlia, despite the cold reception of the local community.

    In 1813, with Napoleon facing the allied coalition after his Russian campaign, Caroline Bonaparte's husband Joachim Murat, King of Naples, abandoned his brother-in-law and joined the Austrian cause by leading the Neapolitan to Rome. Élisa was forced to abdicate as Grand Duchess of Tuscany in favor of Grand Duke Ferdinand III's restoration and leave Tuscany for Lucca. The Neapolitans captured Massa and Carrara in March. An Anglo-Austrian force under Lord William Bentinck captured Lucca soon after, forcing the pregnant Élisa to flee on the night of 13 March 1814. Élisa made several short stays in Italy and France, notably seeking support in Marseille to return to Italy as a private individual. The former duchess' requests were denied, but she was able to stay in Austria for a time thanks to the efforts of her brother, Jérôme Bonaparte, before moving to the Villa Caprara in Trieste.

    Napoleon was exiled to Elba on 1 March 1815, and Élisa was arrested on 25 March and interned in the Austrian fortress of Brünn. She was freed at the end of August and authorized to stay in Trieste with the title of Countess of Compignano. Élisa acquired a country house at Villa Vicentina near Cervignano after her release and financed several archaeological digs in the region. She contracted a fatal illness in June 1820, probably at an excavation site, and died on 7 August at the age of 43. Élisa became the only adult sibling of Napoleon Bonaparte not to survive the emperor. She was buried in the San Petronio Basilica of Bologna.

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  • Laetizia Bonaparte

    She was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, to Nobile Giovanni Geronimo Ramolino (13 April 1723 – 1755), Captain of Corse Regiments of Chivalry and Infantry in the Army of the Republic of Genoa, and wife Nobile Angela Maria Pietrasanta (circa 1725–1790). The distant cousins of the Ramolinos were a low rank of nobility in the Republic of Genoa. Letizia was not formally educated. After the death of her father, her mother remarried to the Swiss-born noble naval officer Franz Fesch, a captain in the service of the Republic of Genoa stationed at Corsica, and gave birth to two children, among them her half-brother Joseph Fesch.

    On 2/7 June 1764, when she was 13, she married attorney Carlo Buonaparte at Ajaccio. She bore 13 children, eight of whom survived infancy, and most of whom were created monarchs by Napoleon:

    She was a harsh mother, and had a very down-to-earth view of most things. When most European mothers bathed children perhaps once a month, she had her children bathed every other day.

    Letizia never learned French. When she was 35, her husband died of cancer. She was decreed "Madam, the Mother of His Majesty the Emperor" (Madame Mère de l'Empereur), Imperial Highness, on 18 May 1804 or 23 March 1805. Napoleon paid her 25,000 francs a month. In 1814 she shared Napoleon's exile in Elba, where he treated her fondly. After 1815 she moved to Rome, in Palazzo D'Aste-Bonaparte in piazza Venezia, where she lived out her days with her younger brother Joseph Fesch. She died of old age in 1836, aged 85, three weeks before the 50th anniversary of her husband's death. By then she was nearly blind and had outlived her most famous son Napoleon by 15 years. During her years in Rome, she rarely saw any other family members than her brother, who rarely left her.

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  • Emperor Napoleon 1st

    Napoleon Bonaparte was born on August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the son of Carlo and Letizia  Bonaparte. Through his military exploits and his ruthless efficiency, Napoleon rose from obscurity to become Napoleon I, Empereur des Francais (Emperor of the French). He is both a historical figure and a legend—and it is sometimes difficult to separate the two. The events of his life fired the imaginations of great writers, film makers, and playwrights whose works have done much to create the Napoleonic legend.

    Napoleon decided on a military career when he was a child, winning a scholarship to a French military academy at age 14.
    His meteoric rise shocked not only France but all of Europe, and his military conquests threatened the stability of the world.

    Napoleon was one of the greatest military commanders in history. He has also been portrayed as a power hungry conqueror. Napoleon denied those accusations. He argued that he was building a federation of free peoples in a Europe united under a liberal government. But if this was his goal, he intended to achieve it by taking power in his own hands. However, in the states he created, Napoleon granted constitutions, introduced law codes, abolished feudalism, created efficient governments and fostered education, science, literature and the arts.

    Emperor Napoleon proved to be an excellent civil administrator. One of his greatest achievements was his supervision of the revision and collection of French law into codes. The new law codes—seven in number—incorporated some of the freedoms gained by the people of France during the French revolution, including religious toleration and the abolition of serfdom. The most famous of the codes, the Code Napoleon or Code Civil, still forms the basis of French civil law. Napoleon also centralized France's government by appointing prefects to administer regions called departments, into which France was divided.

    While Napoleon believed in government "for" the people, he rejected government "by" the people. His France was a police state with a vast network of secret police and spies. The police shut down plays containing any hint of disagreement or criticism of the government. The press was controlled by the state. It was impossible to express an opinion without Napoleon's approval.

    Napoleon's own opinion of his career is best stated in the following quotation:

    “I closed the gulf of anarchy and brought order out of chaos. I rewarded merit regardless of birth or wealth, wherever I found it. I abolished feudalism and restored equality to all regardless of religion and before the law. I fought the decrepit monarchies of the Old Regime because the alternative was the destruction of all this. I purified the Revolution.”

    62.90 €
  • Emperor Napoléon 1st

    Napoleon Bonaparte was born on August 15, 1769 in Ajaccio on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the son of Carlo and Letizia  Bonaparte. Through his military exploits and his ruthless efficiency, Napoleon rose from obscurity to become Napoleon I, Empereur des Francais (Emperor of the French). He is both a historical figure and a legend—and it is sometimes difficult to separate the two. The events of his life fired the imaginations of great writers, film makers, and playwrights whose works have done much to create the Napoleonic legend.

    Napoleon decided on a military career when he was a child, winning a scholarship to a French military academy at age 14.
    His meteoric rise shocked not only France but all of Europe, and his military conquests threatened the stability of the world.

    Napoleon was one of the greatest military commanders in history. He has also been portrayed as a power hungry conqueror. Napoleon denied those accusations. He argued that he was building a federation of free peoples in a Europe united under a liberal government. But if this was his goal, he intended to achieve it by taking power in his own hands. However, in the states he created, Napoleon granted constitutions, introduced law codes, abolished feudalism, created efficient governments and fostered education, science, literature and the arts.

    Emperor Napoleon proved to be an excellent civil administrator. One of his greatest achievements was his supervision of the revision and collection of French law into codes. The new law codes—seven in number—incorporated some of the freedoms gained by the people of France during the French revolution, including religious toleration and the abolition of serfdom. The most famous of the codes, the Code Napoleon or Code Civil, still forms the basis of French civil law. Napoleon also centralized France's government by appointing prefects to administer regions called departments, into which France was divided.

    While Napoleon believed in government "for" the people, he rejected government "by" the people. His France was a police state with a vast network of secret police and spies. The police shut down plays containing any hint of disagreement or criticism of the government. The press was controlled by the state. It was impossible to express an opinion without Napoleon's approval.

    Napoleon's own opinion of his career is best stated in the following quotation:

    “I closed the gulf of anarchy and brought order out of chaos. I rewarded merit regardless of birth or wealth, wherever I found it. I abolished feudalism and restored equality to all regardless of religion and before the law. I fought the decrepit monarchies of the Old Regime because the alternative was the destruction of all this. I purified the Revolution.”

    94.00 €
  • Emperor's chest

    Emperor's chest

    The name of Napoléon Bonaparte is known all over the world. Destiny sometimes favours especially someone, throwing him on so high summits that it is impossible for him to stay there for ever. Amidst the great conquerors like Alexander, Caesar or Carolus Quintus, he is the best known because he is an intergal part of our recent European past. Whether he is beloved or not, he doesn't leave anyone unconcerned, even among our former ennemies.

     Thousands of various works, hundreds of pictures magnified his memory. Millions of his effigy have been reproducted in any position and any material and all specialized collectors through the world reserve him a place of honour in their collection.

    Les Etains du Prince present the Emperor in solid pewter, wearing an uniform which appears simple in comparison of the overdecorated uniforms of his prestigious officers.

    If you appreciate the brilliant First Consul, the conqueror of Italy, the thundering strategist of Austerlitz, the wise father of the Civil Law (together with the talent of our artists…), you will pur Napoléon at the front place in your glass-cabinet !

    249.20 €
  • Imperial Eagle

    Imperial Eagle

    Peoples of the same lineage and speaking the same laguages became really nations only when they gave themselves emblems.
    Roma first will give the flags their sacred nature by equiping the legions with stretching eagles.
    In order to strengthen the value of this emblem, the new Emperor distributed himself after his anointing the Aigle Impériale to the regiments of the Great Army. This venerated bird of prey became then for the soldiers an invaluable traesure.

    By reproducing this emblem of glory, Les Etains du Prince were hoping it would also become the symbol of their prestigious Empire collection.

    217.00 €
  • Bonaparte Arcole Bridge

    On the night of 14-15 November 1796, the French threw a pontoon bridge over the Adige at Ronco. The terrain before them in the angle north of the confluence of the Rivers Alpone and Adige was singularly uninviting as a battleground, comprising a vast and nearly impassable marsh with movement only practicable on the elevated causeways along the riverbanks. Bonaparte counted on this constricted terrain to prevent the Austrians from effectively deploying their superior numbers.

    On 15 November, Augereau’s Division pushed swiftly north along the causeway on the west bank of the Alpone, but was brought to a halt at the bridge of Arcole by the fire of Oberst Brigido’s Croatian Grenzer battalion, supported by two cannon. Generals Lannes and Verdier were wounded, General Verne killed leading unsuccessful charges across the bridge. Augereau, and finally Bonaparte himself, in an episode much celebrated by French painters, braved the enemy’s fire leading vain assaults over the bridge. The Austrians counterattacked; in the confusion of the French retreat Bonaparte fell from the causeway into the swamp and was in danger of drowning or capture. Masséna’s Division, advancing westward along the north bank of the Adige, captured Porcile. At nightfall, the French withdrew to the Ronco bridgehead.

    On 16 November, the French advanced along the same lines, without the benefit of surprise, against Austrian forces that had been much reinforced. In a bitter battle of attrition, both sides suffered heavy losses. The French again retired to their bridgehead.

    On 17 November, French ambushes and stratagems, plus a column advancing up the east bank of the Alpone late in the day, finally routed the Austrians at both Arcole and Porcile. Alvintzi’s Corps retreated eastward through Vicenza. Davidovitch was pursued back to the Tyrol. By this strategic victory fought under almost impossible tactical conditions, Bonaparte had again turned back superior enemy forces and maintained the siege of Mantua.  

    62.90 €
  • Empress Joséphine

    Marie-Josèphe Rose TASCHER DE LA PAGERIE

    Josephine, crowned Empress of France in 1804, was a complex lady living in complex circumstances. Born in 1763, of the poverty stricken but titled Tascher family in the French Isle of Martinique, she was raised far from Paris and the courtly schools for girls of distinction. Although she was very sweet tempered and kind, her stance and mannerisms evoked life in plantation America rather than the noble social circles of Paris. Another legacy of her birthplace: her blackened and rotting teeth were a direct result of the sugar saturated cuisine consumed during her childhood. In spite of her noble family heritage, her first marriage to Alexandre de Beauharnais in 1779 undoubtedly suffered because of her husband's repulsion of her "provincial ways."

    Eventually finding herself abandoned with two children, and without family assistance, she lived for a while in a convent with other outcast ladies of high birth. This friendly contact exposed her to the social graces of the day, where she absorbed the rigid guidlines of behavior like a sponge in water. Here is where she also learned the detailed rules of extramarital interaction in Paris.

    Buoyed by her "apprenticeship" with women she had known in the convent, she would lead a successful life when ultimately forced to leave. She entered the delicate world of political and financial liaisons as the only means available to her for maintaining a life style suitable of her noble birth and married name. This forced lifestyle has contributed unfairly to her lasting reputation as a tarnished and immoral woman. In addition to her physical charm (as long as she kept her lips sealed), her goodness of heart and willingness to help those in need won her many friends and connections. She became known as a woman who helped solve difficult family problems.

    When the French Revolution broke out, she and her husband were reunited in prison in 1794. He went to the guillotine; she came out of it alive, but barely so. Her prison experience was concentration camp like, during which she endured unimaginable hardships as well as faced the daily possibility of public execution.

    It is probable that her former contacts had something do with her survival, and her ordeal only served to strengthened her convictions in her selected life style. After her release, and without any other source of income, she continued to attach herself socially to wealthy and influential men of her day. She began involving herself in questionable but profitable businesses as well. She was very happy during this time, having finally achieved semi-financial stability, independence, a renewal of her health and a life reunited with her children. She soon had money enough to live a very affluent life style, which attracted the attention of numerous men.

    She met Napoleon during this time. He was looking for a woman of wealth and position. She became attracted to him as he began rising in rank and reputation within the new French government. Napoleon fell in love with her most passionately, and it was not long before they were married. At the time of marriage, she, however, was neither in love with him, nor ready to relinquish her sharpened survival techniques to a second husband of unknown future.

    Almost immediately after her marriage, she continued with her adulterous behavior, making money and maintaining her social connections. Napoleon, on the other hand, came from a large family with strong familial loyalties. When his family met her, there was an immediate clash of life styles. His brother Joseph began urging his brother to leave her as soon as he met Josephine.

    Napoleon eventually realized he had to force isolation on Josephine to ensure her total loyalty to him. When the time approached for him to become crowned emperor, their marriage was in a shambles. Marital strife and the threat of divorce in isolation backed her into a corner of submissiveness as she was crowned Empress.

    As Empress, her time was filled with many state functions and duties which she performed with great skill and she was loved throughout Paris. She traveled all over Europe and her charm and social graces were universally appreciated. It was at this time, in 1805 that Napoleon gave Josephine the clock which has become known as the "Empress Josephine Clock."

    However, Napoleon had made clear to her that it was a matter of time before he would ask her to step aside. Having lost many of her previous contacts, she feared for her future and was at the mercy of Napoleon. She performed all official duties flawlessly and with feeling. Their marriage was probably extended beyond what it might have been because Napoleon seems to have deeply loved his wife in spite of her lack of loyalty.

    Josephine was finally pushed out of the marriage by Napoleon in 1809. He wanted a royal heir, and soon married Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria in 1810. Josephine's life after that was in retirement, but was never secure. Without her former connections, she was completely dependant on Napoleon for an annual allowance. His remarriage, the birth of his heir, his fall and the invasion of foreign powers were all stressful times where her future and personal safety were in doubt.

    Finally, in 1814, Josephine caught an infection and quickly died. Her adult life had been almost completely without peace or lasting security. The one source of happiness, her children, was a legacy she was to leave Napoleon. Her son, Eugene served Napoleon faithfully like a son, and her daughter, Hortense, married into the Bonaparte family herself. Her numerous grandchildren all loved Josephine dearly at the time of her death. She had shown them the total, treasured love that only a special grandparent could. They were the chief mourners at Josephine's huge funeral, which was also filled by the many other people touched by her life of giving, helping and kindness.

    62.90 €
  • Imperial Family

    Napoleon, Marie-Louise and the king of Rome

    While Napoleon's mistresses had children by him, Joséphine did not produce an heir, possibly because of either the stresses of her imprisonment during the Reign of Terror or an abortion she may have had in her twenties.
    Napoleon ultimately chose divorce so he could remarry in search of an heir.
    In March 1810, he married Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria, and a great niece of Marie Antoinette by proxy; thus he had married into a German royal and imperial family.

    They remained married until his death, though she did not join him in exile on Elba and thereafter never saw her husband again.
    The couple had one child, Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles (1811–1832), known from birth as the King of Rome.
    He became Napoleon II in 1814 and reigned for only two weeks. He was awarded the title of the Duke of Reichstadt in 1818 and died of tuberculosis aged 21.

    241.70 €
  • Empress Marie Louise


    Marie Louise, second wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, was the daughter of Francis I, emperor of Austria, and of the princess Theresa of Naples, and was born on the 12th of December 1791.
    Her disposition, fresh and natural but lacking the qualities that make for distinction, gave no promise of eminence until reasons of state brought Napoleon shortly after his divorce of Josephine  to sue for her hand. It is probable, though not quite certain, that the first suggestions as to this marriage alliance emanated secretly from the Austrian chancellor, Metternich. The prince de Ligne claimed to have been instrumental in arranging it. In any case the proposal was well received at Paris both by Napoleon and by his ministers; and though there were difficulties respecting the divorce, of Josephine, yet these were surmounted in a way satisfactory to the emperor and the prelates of Austria.
    The marriage took place by proxy in the church of St. Augustine, Vienna, on the 11th of March 1810. The new empress was escorted into France by Queen Caroline Murat, for whom she soon conceived a feeling of distrust. The civil and religious contracts took place at Paris early in April, and during the honeymoon, spent at the palace of Compiègne, the emperor showed the greatest regard for his wife. "He is so evidently in love with her", wrote Metternich, "that he cannot conceal his feelings, and all his customary ways of life are subordinate to her wishes.: His joy was complete when on the 20th of March 1811 she bore him a son who was destined to bear the empty titles of King of Rome and Napoleon II. The regard of Napoleon for his consort was evidenced shortly before the birth of this prince, when he bade the physicians, if the lives of the mother and of the child could not both be saved, to spare her life. Under Marie Louise the etiquette of the court of France became more stately and the ritual of religious ceremonies more elaborate. Before the campaign of 1812 she accompanied the emperor to Dresden; but after that scene of splendor misfortunes crowded upon Napoleon. In January 1814 he appointed her to act as regent of France (with Joseph Bonaparte as lieutenant-general) during his absence in the field.

    At the time of Napoleon's first abdication (April 11, 1814), Joseph and Jerome Bonaparte tried to keep the empress under some measure of restraint at Blois; but she succeeded in reaching her father the emperor Francis while Napoleon was on his way to Elba. She, along with her son, was escorted into Austria by Count von Neipperg, and refused to comply with the entreaties and commands of Napoleon to proceed to Elba; and her alienation from him was completed when he ventured to threaten her with a forcible abduction if she did not obey. During the Hundred Days she remained in Austria and manifested no desire for the success of Napoleon in France. At the Congress of Vienna the Powers awarded to her and her son the duchies of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, in conformity with the terms of the treaty of Fontainebleau (March, 1814); in spite of the determined opposition of Louis XVIII she gained this right for herself owing largely to the support of the emperor Alexander, but she failed to make good the claims of her son to the inheritance. She proceeded alone to Parma, where she fell more and more under the influence of the count von Neipperg, and had to acquiesce in the title "Duke of Reichstadt" accorded to her son. Long before the tidings of the death of Napoleon at St. Helena reached her she was living in intimate relations with Neipperg at Parma, and bore a son to him not long after that event. Napoleon on the other hand spoke of her in his will with marked tenderness, and both excused and forgave her infidelity to him. Thereafter Neipperg became her morganatic husband; and they had other children. In 1832, at the time of the last illness of the Duke of Reichstadt, she visited him at Vienna and was there at the time of his death; but in other respects she shook off all association with Napoleon. Her rule in Parma, conjointly with Neipperg, was characterized by a clemency and moderation which were lacking in the other Italian states in that time of reaction.

    She preserved some of the Napoleonic laws and institutions; in 1817 she established the equality of women in heritage, and ordered the compilation of a civil code which was promulgated in January 1820. The penal code of November 1821 abolished many odious customs and punishments of the old code, and allowed publicity in criminal trials. On the death of Neipperg in 1829 his place was taken by Baron Werklein, whose influence was hostile to popular liberty. During the popular movements of 1831 Marie Louise had to take refuge with the Austrian garrison at Piacenza; on the restoration of her rule by the Austrians its character deteriorated, Parma becoming an outwork of the Austrian empire.

    She died at Parma on the 18th of December 1847.


    62.90 €
  • Joseph Bonaparte

    Joseph Bonaparte, original Italian Giuseppe Buonaparte 

    Like his brothers, Joseph embraced the French republican cause and, with the victory of Corsican patriot Pasquale Paoli, was forced to leave Corsica to seek refuge in France. In 1796 he accompanied Napoleon in the early part of his Italian campaign and had some part in the negotiations with Sardinia that led to the armistice of Cherasco. He then took part in the French expedition for the recovery of Corsica and assisted in the reorganization of the island. He was appointed by the Directory minister to the court of Parma (1797) and then to Rome. Late in 1797 he returned to Paris and became one of the members for Corsica in the Council of Five Hundred.
    Joseph did little in the coup d’état of 18 Brumaire (November 9, 1799). He was a member of the Council of State and of the Corps Législatif, and he concluded at Mortfontaine a convention with the United States (1800). He also presided over negotiations leading to the Treaty of Lunéville with Austria (1801); and he was one of those who represented France in discussions with the British envoy, Lord Cornwallis, that led to the treaty of Amiens (1802), which marked Napoleon’s total pacification of Europe. A year later, however, relations between England and France were severed, and Joseph’s diplomatic efforts proved to have been in vain.
    On the question of the consolidation of Napoleon’s power as first consul for life (August 1, 1802) with the power to nominate his own successor, the brothers disagreed. As Napoleon had no heir, Joseph as eldest brother claimed to be recognized as heir, while Napoleon wished to recognize the son of Louis Bonaparte. On the proclamation of the French empire (May 1804) the friction became acute. Joseph refused Napoleon’s offer to make him king of Lombardy if he would waive all claim of succession to the French throne.
    After acting for a year as chief of the French government while Napoleon was in Germany, Joseph was sent to Naples to expel the Bourbon dynasty (1806). Proclaimed king of Naples by imperial decree later the same year, he abolished the relics of feudalism, reformed the monastic orders, and reorganized the judicial, financial, and educational systems.
    From 1808 Napoleon became increasingly dissatisfied with Joseph’s conduct. Called away from Naples to become king of Spain, Joseph was forced to leave Madrid hastily when Spanish insurgents defeated French forces at Baylen. He was reinstated by Napoleon at the close of 1808 and thereafter was kept in a subordinate position that led him on four occasions to offer to abdicate.
    On March 30, 1814, when the troops of the allies reached Paris, Joseph fled, having left Marshal Marmont to make a truce with the assailants of Paris if they should be in overpowering strength. He played only an insignificant role in the Hundred Days (1815). After Napoleon’s surrender at Rochefort, Joseph went to the United States and in 1830 pleaded for the recognition of the claims of Napoleon’s son, the duke of Reichstadt, to the French throne. He afterward visited England and for a time resided in Genoa and then in Florence, where he died.

    62.90 €
  • Aiglon


    Although Josephine had had two children by her previous marriage, they apparently could not have children. Napoleon blamed himself for this failure, until 1809, when one of his mistresses delivered a healthy baby boy, which unfortunately Napoleon could not recognize legally as his heir. Hence he divorced Josephine and married Maria Louisa: The young Austrian princess did her duty, and 9 months after the marriage, a boy was born. He was christened: Napoleon François-Joseph Charles, and as heir to the French Empire, Napoleon gave him the title, King of Rome.

    After Napoleon's fall, there was general expectation that the young King of Rome would be named his successor, under the regency of his mother, Empress Maria Louisa, but Talleyrand blocked this move and arranged for the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty. Maria Louisa was given the life-title of Duchess of Parma, while Napoleon's son was named the Duke of Reichstadt, the name by which history recalls him.

    62.90 €
  • Jerome Bonaparte

    Jerome Bonaparte was King of Westphalia.

    The youngest brother of Napoleon I, at an early age entered the French navy as a midshipman. In 1801 he was sent out on an expedition to the West Indies, but the vessel being chased by English cruisers, was obliged to put in to New York. During his sojourn in America Jerome Bonaparte became acquainted with Miss Elizabeth Patterson, the daughter of the president of the Bank of Baltimore, and though still a minor, married her in spite of the protests of the French consul on the 24th of December, 1803.
    The emperor, his brother, whose ambitious views were thwarted by this marriage, after an ineffectual application to Pope Pius VII to have it dissolved, issued a decree declaring it to be null and void. After considerable services both in the army and navy, in 1807 he was created King of Westphalia, and married Catherine Sophia, princess of Wurtemberg. His government was not wise or prudent, and his extravagance and his brother's increasing exactions nearly brought the state to financial ruin.
    The Battle of Leipzig put an end to Jerome's reign, and he was obliged to take flight to Paris. He remained faithful to his brother through all the events that followed until the final overthrow at the Battle of Waterloo. After that, under the title of the Comte de Montfort, he resided in different cities of Europe, but latterly chiefly at Florence. After the election of his nephew, Louis Napoleon, to the presidentship of the French Republic, in 1848, he became successively governor-general of Les Invalides, a marshal of France, and president of the senate.
    From his union with Miss Patterson only one son proceeded, Jerome, who was brought up in America, and married a lady of that country, by whom he had a son, who served as an officer in the French army during the Crimean war. The offspring of this marriage was not, however, recognized as legitimate by the French tribunals. Of the three children that were born to Jerome Bonaparte from his second marriage one was Prince Napoleon Joseph, who assumed the name of Jerome, and was well known by the nickname 'Plon-Plon'. He died in 1891, having married Clotilde, daughter of King Victor Emmanuel of Italy. He had three children: Victor (born on the 18th of July, 1862), Louis, and Marie Letitia. The first of these, since the death of Nopoleon III's son, the Prince Imperial, was generally recognized by the Bonapartist party as the heir to the traditions of the dynasty. He had to leave France in 1886, a law being passed expelling pretenders to the French throne and their eldest sons.

    62.90 €