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  • Napoleon Bonaparte working manuscript to make $250,000?
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • BonapartemanuscriptNapoleonworking

Napoleon Bonaparte working manuscript to make $250,000?

Four pages from the working manuscript of Napoleon Bonaparte's recently published novella, Clisson et Eugenie, is to sell at Bonhams.

The piece is one of the star lots of the September 21 fine books and manuscripts auction in New York.

Napoleon Bonaparte novella
Napoleon Bonaparte was inspired by his own relationship with a girl named Eugenie

In addition to being one of the greatest military minds of all time, Napoleon was an accomplished writer.

The book is his only work of fiction and tells the story of an unfortunate soldier and his lover.

The text was scattered to the winds after Napoleon's death. The fragments ended up in institutions around the world.

It was painstakingly reassembled and published in French and English in 2007.

Peter Hicks, who translated the book into English, told the Guardian newspaper: "Napoleon is not often thought of these days as a writer. And if he is, it's certainly not as an author of fiction.

"That being said, some commentators before 1900 described him as the greatest French writer of the 19th century, thinking most notably about his correspondence.

"When you become the ruler of a good part of the known world - as a result of a military and political acumen that astounded contemporaries - literary ability ends up being just an 'also ran' accomplishment."

There have been some major sales of Napoleon memorabilia in the past.

His iconic bicorne hat achieved $2.2m in 2014, while his gold encrusted sword made $6.5m in 2007.

However, this manuscript offers a glimpse into another facet of Napoleon's personality and will likely have a broader appeal beyond collectors of militaria.

It's valued at $180,000-250,000, a sum that looks reasonable when you consider that a single page made $27,000 in 2007.

The auction will include a collection of materials related to the Dreyfus Affair.

Don't have a quarter of a million to shell out on Napoleon memorabilia? Come and take a look at this…

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • BonapartemanuscriptNapoleonworking