Napoleon on St. Helena

Napoleon on St. Helena

“Better would immediately sign my death warrant” he wrote Napoleon Bonaparte when he was still on the ship that led him to Sant'Elena, the remote island of the Atlantic where British and allies, out victorious in Waterloo, he had been confined to put him permanently out of the game; Napoleon felt that the forced stay would not be easy, but probably he not even imagined how hard it would prove.

It landed with a retinue of about 50 people, the first impact was even worse than expected: Sant'Elena, that stood out on the waves with a look barren and almost ghostly, It appeared as the most inhospitable place in the world and the former Emperor of the French had not yet had the opportunity to experiment with the bad weather, with the incessant rains that fought for much of the year, the unbearable humidity and the dense fog that

Napoleon prisoner on St. Helena

Napoleon prisoner on St. Helena

They gave it its characteristic greyness.

If the first period spent in a relatively peaceful, including chats and games of cards with fellow adventurers, the worst came after the transfer in Longwood, a small house and unhealthy submitted, to make matters worse, to a continuous surveillance and asphyxiating; sentries and guards scattered everywhere, They controlled the prisoner day and night.

As it witnessed by diarists and memoirists in tow, Bonaparte pondered even suicide, managing not to implement the insane act by reading, the study and the comfort that gave him the chance to tell and dictate his memoirs.

With the arrival of the new governor in 1816, Hudson Lowe, The situation deteriorated further: the controls became tighter, grew humiliations and many close associates, no longer able to endure such restrictions, Napoleon abandoned to his fate.

The man who had set fire to half the world, one whose delusions of grandeur had led to the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of lives, ended his days undermined by the disease,

Death of Napoleon

Death of Napoleon

a stomach cancer devouring him at a dizzying rate, gloomily, fatted, lonely and depressed, without a shred of hope and joy of living, reduced to observe the world from the back of the closed shutters of his dark and miserable prison-house.

It has long coveted, Death came in a stormy afternoon 5 May 1821, when for years, beyond and outside of

Sant'Elena, Napoleon Bonaparte was now only a fantama evokes tragic memories (Photo gives: wikipedia.org, melbourneblogger.blogspot.it e www.lombardiabeniculturali.it).