A rare letter written in English by French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte has gone on show in Paris, four days before it is due to be sold on June 10.
The letter demonstrates the emperor's struggle with the English language following his defeat at the battle of Waterloo. During his subsequent exile on the island of Saint Helena, Napoleon sought to learn English so as to better understand the language of his captors.
The letter, dated March 1816, is one of just three examples written to his aide, Emmanuel, Comte de Las Cases. Las Cases served not only as Bonaparte's English teacher, but also as his unofficial secretary, taking down the notes that would eventually form the famous Mémorial de Ste Héléne.
It begins: "
The letter, which continues in broken English, is due to go on sale at Fountainbleu on Sunday with a pre-sale estimate of €60,000-80,000.
Napoleon Bonaparte memorabilia continues to achieve remarkable prices at auction, with the PFC40 Autograph Index showing a 14.70% pa increase in value for items signed by the controversial leader between 2000 and 2011. Interest in Napoleon items is expected to increase further as the 200 year anniversary of his death approaches in 2021. For more great reasons to invest in the "Little General", download our free investment report here.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has three handwritten autographed letters from Napoleon Bonaparte as well as an authentic strand of his hair.