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Despite a fascinating subject this writer succeeds in producing a remarkably dull book. Whilst the blurb puts much store by the author visiting the island of St Helena to research the last days of the Emperor the result of her stay is about three or four pages of passing comment. The rest of the book is simply a rehash of narrative as available in tourist guides from the island or other books on the matter. Utterly disappointing.
I gave up on this dreadful book about page 4 when she says she had never been to St Helena but also did not know where it is! Then she gets there - with family - and totally misses finding Napoleon's house! Simply a record from other books and truly disappointing. I only continued to read it as I needed something to read - but it was a struggle,
This is the factual account of the last 5 years of Bonapartes life on St Helena. Written and researched perfectly. From Emperor as one of the greatest military strategist to a starving, terribly neglected, lonely man. He died of stomach cancer at the young age of 51 with hardly any one around. Such a waste.
This book would appeal to anyone interested in history. My interest in the book stems from my own family history as my great great great grandfather went to the Island with his Regiment of the British Army in order to guard Napoleon when he was exiled there.
The book tells the story of Napoleon's day to day life. It shows the hardships that were endured by Napoleon, the staff he brought with him, the soldiers and their families. It tells of the work that the soldiers performed apart from being guards in order to sustain themselves on the Island over the five and a half years that they were stationed there . I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in the History of Napoleons incarceration on the Island .
This book is not easy to classify � part biography, part memoir, part essay. After Napoleon�s final defeat at Waterloo, the British exiled him to the remote South Atlantic island of St. Helena, where he lived the few remaining years of his life. This book, written in the early 1990s, consists of the author's sensitive and insightful musings on Napoleon�s life and death on the island, the relations between him and others in that most unnatural setting and those most unnatural circumstances, the history of St. Helena, the world of Napoleonic studies, the author's visit to St. Helena, and much else. The book is very elliptical and personal, and is perhaps best described as an extended meditation by Blackburne on life and human relationships as displayed in these events. Hard-core Napoleon fans and others looking for a straightforward narrative are likely to be disappointed (though I suspect that more insight into Napoleon's character can be gleaned from this book than from any more prosaic narrative). The book will appeal to readers who enjoy an intimate conversation with a thoughtful woman who, taking as her point of departure the unique and timeless spectacle at the core of the book, has much to say about all of us.
A keenest interest in the remotest British overseas territory brought me to purchase this book and to read . Looking back, good that Napoleon was not sent to Tristan da Cunha but Saint Helena Island then. Lucky that his last island was Saint Helena,where I can fly sometime soon if the airport is completed. This amazing book has intensified my interest in history all the more. I will let my sons and daughters as well as my grand-children read this book without fail. Eddie Izumi
I am a great fan of Julia Blackburn and this book is another gem. It's a very good description of his last few years in captivity on this desolate island. It would be rather topical this year on the 200th anniversary of his banishment to Saint Helena. He led a miserable and a frustrating existence but tried to put a brave face on it. Would recommend to history lovers.