Napoleon Bonaparte was born on August 15, 1769, in Ajaccio, France. 200 years after his death, he remains one of the most famous figures in history. He established himself as a competent, fierce military general, who crowned himself the emperor of France in 1804.
While Napoleon is remembered for his military career and politics, many might not be aware of his artistic side. In 1795, Napoleon wrote a romance novella called Clisson et Eugénie. The novella is about Clisson, a young soldier, and his relationship with a woman named Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary. Eugénie’s sister is married to Clisson’s brother Joseph.
The novella wasn’t published until after Napoleon’s death. Initially, Napoleon’s manuscript was split into segments and sold at auction houses (as souvenirs). Some segments of the novella were published at various times, and a completely reconstructed version of the novella was completed in 2009.
Napoleon wrote Clisson et Eugénie when he was twenty-six years old. The parallels between the events and the characters in the novella provide intriguing insight into Napoleon’s own perspectives on love, relationships, women, and life as a military soldier.
You can buy Clisson et Eugénie here!
Interested in French history and French literature? Check out this article: How the French Revolution Changed French Literature!
INFORMATION SOURCED FROM MENTAL FLOSS, HISTORY.ORG, AND NAPOLEON.ORG.
FEATURED IMAGE VIA NAPOLEON COLOGNE LE BLOG.