The year is 1814. The Allies have driven Napoleon's once-mighty armies back to Paris. Trapped, forced to abdicate after two decades of triumphant rule, the Emperor takes leave of his comrades-in-arms and sets sail for his new domain - the tiny, poverty-stricken, pestilential island of Elba. Yet within ten months Napoleon will enter Paris once again, at the heels of the fleeing Bourbon king, flushed with victory and cheered by the masses. The Escape From Elba tells the heroic story of Napoleon's exile and phoenix-like return. In this classic account, now republished in paperback, Norman MacKenzie chronicles this extraordinary year: the tense last hours of Napoleon's empire, his humiliating exile, his midnight escape and his whirlwind march over snowbound mountains to Grenoble where, in a dramatic confrontation with the French army, he became a reigning prince again. Described in vivid detail are Napoleon's adventures as the head of Elba. He brought society, splendour, organization and political intrigue to this run-down backwater. And he displayed on this small stage the many sides of his charismatic.
The stunning finale to the award-winning Napoleonic trilogy presents the legendary figure as you have never before seen him — exiled and humiliated and vividly real. Patrick Rambaud closes his epic trilogy, which began with The Battle, winner of the Prix Goncourt and the Grand Prix Roman de l’Academie Francaise, and The Retreat. In 1814 Napoleon is racing back to Paris from the debacle of his Russian invasion. A plot afoot in the capital — to return a royal to the throne — succeeds, and Napoleon’s marshals force him to abdicate and go into exile. Octave Senecal, Napoleon’s loyal aide and savior, tells the tale of their journey south through the angry, mob-filled countryside to Elba, a tiny island off the coast of Tuscany. Here Patrick Rambaud brings to life not the Napoleon of the history books, but Napoleon the man — a man horribly bored by exile, gambling with his mother to pass the time, spearing the occasional tuna with local fishermen, and fretting constantly that secret agents and murderers surround him. He is soon planning his escape, while in France his former soldiers spend their evenings drinking to the return of “l’absent.” They won’t have long to wait.
Extrait : "De chaque côté du fleuve glacé, l'immense forêt de sapins s'allongeait, sombre et comme menaçante. Les arbres, débarrassés par un vent récent de leur blanc manteau de givre, semblaient s'accouder les uns sur les autres, noirs et fatidiques dans le jour qui pâlissait."
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