The Black Room at Longwood : Napoleon's Exile on Saint Helena
This is an unusually intelligent, elegiac book; not merely an account of Napoleon's last days in exile on the remote Atlantic island of St. Helena but a meditation on the interrelations of past and present and the shadow a figure as gigantic as Napoleon casts onto futurity. On one level, the book is a travelogue, as Jean-Paul Kauffmann revisits modern St. Helena and describes what he finds; the small-scale lives of the islanders are related with tenderness as well as humor. But we also learn a great deal about Napoleon as Kauffmann passes through the places associated with him and attempts to get inside the head of the deposed emperor.
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