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History Talk: Napoleon on Saint Helena

Tuesday 25 June 2019 18:45-20:00

Charles-Éloi Vial is a Curator at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, specialised in the French First Empire. His talk will deliver insights on a little known period of Napoleon’s life: his captivity on Saint Helena.

Napoleon on Saint Helena
Mostly known through the memoirs and personal diaries of those who accompanied the emperor during his exile, Napoleon’s captivity on Saint Helena can also be studied from primary sources. For instance, the archives of the island’s governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, form an astonishing documentary corpus which thoroughly depicts daily life in Longwood House. Of equal interest are Napoleon’s own manuscripts, which epitomise the captive’s intellectual vivacity, and letters exchanged with his correspondents in Europe between 1815 and 1821, wherein often unsettling confidences are shared. Though many documents are kept in London, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France also has in its possession an outstanding English language archive which sheds new light on the emperor’s final years.

About the Speaker
Archivist, paleographer, and graduate of the Ecole nationale des Chartes, from which he holds a PhD in history, Charles-Éloi Vial is a Curator in the Manuscripts Department of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, where he is in charge of Modern and Contemporary manuscripts. A specialist of the First French Empire, he is the author of Marie-Louise (Perrin, 2017), a biography of Napoleon’s second wife, which received the 2017 Prix Premier Empire from the Fondation Napoléon. His most recent publication is Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène. L’encre de l’exil (Perrin, 2018).

Find Charles-Eloi Vial on Twitter: @eligidius

Event Details

History Talk: Napoleon on Saint Helena
Tuesday, 25 June 2019 | 6.45 - 8.00pm
Talk in French, followed by Q&A in English & French
FREE & Open to all

Institut français d’Ecosse
Salle Emilienne Moreau-Evrard (first floor)
West Parliament Square
Edinburgh EH1 1RF

Access Details
The Institut français d’Ecosse and the Salle Emilienne Moreau-Evrard are fully accessible with step-free access available at West Parliament Square and George IV Bridge.

Book directly online or contact us at 0131 285 6030 or info ifecosse.org.uk

IFE Membership and Discount Rates
While this event is free and open to all, the Institut programmes many members only events and offers discounted member rates at other events. Find out more about becoming a member of the Institut français d’Ecosse.

Photo montage: Editions Perrin
Photo credit: Bruno Klein

Institut Français Écosse 2022