Napoleon in Captivity

Aleksandr Antonovich Balmain, Julian Park

Date Published :
March 2015
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781781551202
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The 1815 Treaty of Paris was signed between France on the one hand and the victorious Allied powers of Britain, Austria, Prussia and Russia on the other. One of the treaty terms allowed each nation to send a commissioner to St. Helena to observe Napoleon’s captivity. Russia accepted this and sent Count Balmain to report back to St. Petersburg. The reports of Count Balmain are infinitely superior in value and interest to all other accounts; they are very witty and interesting — witty, perhaps. They are certainly vivid and readable, and he took vast pains to make them so because he knew his emperor read them carefully. Balmain went into great detail about the island, the inhabitants, the cost of food and all sorts of minutiae which he felt would appeal to and interest his master back in St. Petersburg. It is the ‘gossipy nature’ of the book as well as the detail it contains which makes the text so readable and fresh. A classic account of Napoleon’s imprisonment. ‘As it is scarcely possible to give a description of St. Helena other than that already well known in Europe, I content myself with repeating that it seems to me to be that spot in the world which is the saddest, the most isolated, the most unapproachable, the easiest to defend, the hardest to attack, the most unsociable, the poorest, the dearest, and especially the most appropriate for the use to which it is now put. Such is the general idea which one must have of it. Any attempt against the island would be pure madness. 1 believe that I can already assure you of that. Nature has contributed the first and the greatest obstacles, and the English Governor does not cease to add to the means of defense, the greater part of which seems unnecessary. Three regiments of infantry, five companies of artillery, a detachment of dragoons for the service of a rather considerable staff, form the extent of the garrison. Two frigates, one of them of 50 guns, some brigs and sloops guard the sea, and the number of cannon disposable on the coasts and the interior of the country is striking

More from this publisher