- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Rare Napoleon letter exhibits English skills
Question of the Day
FONTAINEBLEAU, FRANCE (AP) - An illuminating letter written by Napoleon in English, sold at auction Sunday for (EURO)325,000 ($405,000), offers a window into the mind of the French emperor, struggling with syntax of the language of enemy Britain.
The standard-sized sheet of paper is a homework exercise Napoleon sent to an English teacher for correction in 1816 and was sealed with the imperial eagle wax stamp.
It’s one of three such English-language letters by Napoleon in the world, according to the auction organizers, and was bought by Paris’ Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in a dramatic bidding war near the Chateau of Fontainebleau, one of Napoleon’s south of Paris.
The selling price _ five times what was predicted _ suggests the document’s historic value, as rare proof that Napoleon, who famously dismissed England as a “nation of shopkeepers,” learned to speak the language of Shakespeare late in life.
He wrote the letter while a captive by the British in the remote island of Saint Helena following his defeat at Waterloo, according to the Osenat auction house.
“He really had a great admiration for England, the rules and history. The English have the wrong idea: Napoleon didn’t hate them, he was just a military man, and the French interests were different to the English,” he said.
But did admiration alone lead the empire-building Frenchman to learn English?
It seems that vanity, too, may have played a role _ and though he was stranded on the South Atlantic Ocean island, he still cared about what people thought.
“Of course, he was always very worried about his image. He wanted to read what was said about him in the English press,” added Osenat, with a wry smile.
Whatever the reason and despite Napoleon’s best efforts _ months of hard study, often late into the night _ the letter shows he still had some way to go in mastering the language of Shakespeare.
It begins: “It’s two o’clock after midnight, I have enow sleep, I go then finish the night with you.”
Napoleon addressed the letter to the Count Las Cases, his teacher, “at his bonk” _ thought to be the word “bunk” misspelled.
In a moment of surprising humility, Napoleon Bonaparte asks his teacher in the letter to indulge him and correct his mistakes.
The document offers insight into the historical jigsaw puzzle of who Napoleon became when imprisoned and in exile.
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Obama says public not familiar enough with issues
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Hezbollah warring in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Tom Petty: 'No one's got Christ more wrong than the Christians'
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq