Posts Tagged ‘Napoleon Bonaparte’

Pierre-de-Saint-regent

For the King: the Christmas Eve assassins

Today is the 210th anniversary of the Rue Nicaise attack, the topic of my second novel, For the King. The assassination attempt against Napoleon Bonaparte missed its target, but killed or maimed dozens of innocents.Today is the 210th anniversary of the 1800 Rue Nicaise bombing, which is the backdrop of my second novel, For the […]



Girandoni air gun

Air guns: the automatic weapons of the 18th century

While researching For the King, I met air guns (fusils à vent) on several occasions. But I had long been familiar with these weapons as a reader of fiction—Conan Doyle’s works, more precisely. Remember The Adventure of the Empty House? In this tale, Colonel Sebastian Moran uses an air rifle to murder his victim. It […]



The Temple: Napoléon’s political jail

For the King relates the circumstances of the Rue Nicaise conspiracy, a failed attempt to assassinate Napoléon Bonaparte on Christmas Eve 1800. Indeed Napoléon had a surfeit of political enemies. They fell into two opposite camps: the Chouans were Royalists and wanted to restore King Louis XVIII to the throne, while the Jacobins yearned to […]



Jean-Cottereau-known-as-Jean-Chouan

The Chouans, Jean Chouan, the Catholic and Royal Army and the fall of Napoléon

On Christmas Eve 1800, a group of Chouans, royalist insurgents, detonated a bomb along Napoléon Bonaparte’s path. This assassination attempt provides the backdrop of my new novel, For the King. Readers have asked me for more information about them. Why the name Chouans? What drove them to political violence? Were they a major political force? […]



pug-dog

Pugs, Jane Austen, political conspiracy and mass murder

Fans of Jane Austen will remember Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park sitting on her sofa with her pug by her side. “The next time Pug has a litter you shall have a puppy,” she tells her niece Fanny. Lady Bertram can think of no higher mark of her regard. Indeed pugs were great favorites for […]



saint-regent

The Rue Saint-Nicaise attack: meet the assassins

Let us begin with Joseph de Limoëlan, the head of the conspiracy to assassinate Napoléon Bonaparte in Paris. He was 34 years of age at the time of the attack, a tall, handsome man with blue eyes and dark hair, gold-rimmed spectacles and an aristocratic air. After years spent as a Chouan, a royalist insurgent, […]



Madame-Recamier-by-Gerard

For the King: how I imagine my fictional characters

My mental images of the historical figures who appear in my novels are of course determined by their numerous portraits and the descriptions of eye witnesses. I don’t have to wonder what Napoléon Bonaparte looked like in 1800. But what about fictional characters, such as Roch Miquel or Blanche Coudert in FOR THE KING? Well, […]



Louis XVIII and Napoléon: the King and the Emperor

In 1800 Louis XVIII was 45. He had been friendly to reform in the beginnings of the French Revolution. But as it took a more radical turn, he had fled at the same time as the royal couple. Only he had succeeded in reaching Brussels when Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were arrested near the border. […]



Josephine-bonaparte-by-Isabey

Napoléon and Joséphine in 1800

An interesting couple if ever there was one… Bonaparte then is not the portly man we have come to associate with traditional Napoleonic imagery. He has not yet crowned himself Emperor of the French, but he has seized power a year earlier in a bloodless coup. In 1800 he is the First Consul, a reference […]



Fouche-French-school

The perfect villain: Joseph Fouché, Napoléon’s Minister of Police

All thrillers, and indeed most novels, require a good villain to balance the protagonist and add tension to the plot. Historicals are no exception. When I began writing For the King, which recounts an attempt to assassinate Napoléon Bonaparte in 1800, I imagined that the perpetrators would be the obvious choice. Their crime was heinous […]