The Great Glasshouse at Malmaison by Auguste-Siméon Garneray. Musées nationaux de Malmaison, France.
We would once again like to welcome back to our blog, Classics teacher and author of The Elephant of Exeter Change: A Tale of Cruelty and Confinement in Georgian London, William Ellis-Rees.
William’s guest post this time has as its subject, Empress Josephine, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Josephine is of course extraordinarily famous, and many biographies of her have appeared over the years. However, William’s research has unearthed a curious story which does not appear…
via Guest Post by William Ellis-Rees – ‘Empress Josephine and the creation of Malmaison’ – All Things Georgian
The life of a sailor has never been easy, and during wartime, it is doubly true. It was particularly so in the Royal Navy at the beginning of the 19th century.
Britain was embroiled in a struggle against France, which had recently succumbed to revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte had become ruler and he…
Source: A Sailor’s Life For Me – A day in the life of a Royal Navy Sailor from 1806
On the 10th of January 1810, the divorce ceremony of Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Joséphine was performed as a grand social gathering, with each of the parties reading out a statement of devotio…
Source: Napoleon, Divorce and Women’s Rights | A R T L▼R K
It’s been a while since we looked at any transfer-printed pottery on the Printshop Window and so I thought I’d share these images of a creamware jug which came up at auction recently.
The jug was manufactured by the Cambrian Pottery Company of Swansea and is dated 1st April 1814. The design is somewhat unusual in that it is an original composition rather than a copy of an existing caricature print. It was drawn and engraved by James Brindley, an English engraver working in Swansea for a period of about five years between 1813 and 1818. Brindley produced this image and another satirical design, entitled Peace and Plenty, specifically for use in the potteries. We know Brindley was responsible for creating these two designs because his signature appears on both, although David Drakard points out that it was obliterated from later transfers, possibly because “confirmation that both the design and the engraving was not their own work was too much for the Cambrian Pottery” (Drakard, p.248).
The image is a complex one in which several figures gather around…
Source: Bonaparte Dethron’d April 1st 1814 | The Printshop Window
Originally posted on Shannon Selin.
Pierre Viriot was a promising French soldier who wound up on the bad side of both the Napoleonic and the Bourbon regimes. His sad tale shows the power of Napoleon’s police to ruin a man’s life.
A young hussar
Pierre François Viriot was born on September 20, 1773 in Nancy, in northeastern France. His father, also called Pierre, had distinguished himself as a soldier in the Seven Years’ War. His mother, Jeanne Françoise Lemaure (or Lemort), gave birth to at least 11 children and was particularly long-lived, dying at the age of 95 (or 101) in 1827.
At age 15 Viriot entered a military training school at Pont-à-Mousson. At age 17, in January 1791, he enlisted in a regiment of hussars at Chamboran. After two campaigns in the Moselle, Viriot was sent to the Vendée, in the west of France. He fought against the royalists known as Chouans. In 1793, he married Marie-Françoise-Constance Calonne. They had four sons.
The Clément de Ris affair
By the fall of 1800, Pierre Viriot, then age 27, was a captain of hussars and bore the scars of 14 wounds – five from swords and nine from firearms. One of them had taken out his right eye. He might have gone on to a…
via Shannon Selin The tragedy of Colonel Pierre Viriot – Shannon Selin.
Grenadier Burg, 24th Regiment of the Guard, 1815
IMAGE: BROWN UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
Napoléon Bonaparte’s final defeat was the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Even after his death in 1821, the surviving soldiers of Grande Armée revered his historic leadership. Each year on May 5, the anniversary of Napoléon’s death, the veterans marched to Paris’ Place Vendôme in full uniform to pay respects to their emperor.
These photographs were taken on one of these occasions, possibly in 1858. All the men — at this time in their 70s and 80s — are wearing the Saint Helena medals, issued in August 1857 to all veterans of the wars of the revolution and the empire.
These are the only surviving images of veterans of the Grande Armée and the Guard actually wearing their original uniforms and insignia…
via c. 1858: Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars.
Background: The Battle of Waterloo was fought south of Brussels between the Allied armies commanded by the Duke of Wellington from Britain and the 72-year-old General Blücher from Prussia, and the French under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte. The French defeat at Waterloo brought an end to 23 years of war starting with the French Revolutionary wars in 1792 and continuing through the Napoleonic Wars. There was an eleven-month respite with Napoleon forced to abdicate and exiled to the island of Elba. The unpopularity of Louis XVIII, however, and the social and economic instability of France brought Napoleon back to Paris in March 1815. The Allies declared war once again. Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo marked the end of the so-called ‘100 Days,’ the Emperor’s final bid for power, and the final chapter in his remarkable career.
Why did Napoleon lose?
The battle was closely fought; either side could have won, but mistakes in leadership, communication, and judgment led, in the end, to the French defeat. Wellington said his victory was…
Read more: English Historical Fiction Authors: The Battle of Waterloo: Did the Weather Change History?