MÉMORIAL DE SAINTE HÉLÈNE
JOURNAL OF THE PRIVATE LIFE
AT SAINT HELENA
Count Emmanuel De Las Cases
Transcribed by Dr. Alexander Mikaberidze
Biography of Count Las Cases
Count Emmanuel-Augustin-Dieudonné-Joseph de Las Cases
An officer of the royal navy, Las Cases in 1790 emigrated from France to England, where he wrote and published his Atlas Historique (1802) that attracted Napoleon's attention. On his return to France (1809) under general amnesty for emigres, Las Cases was given a minor position on the council of state, served as a chamberlain and was created count in 1810. After Napoleon's first abdication in 1814, he returned to England but joined Napoleon during the Hundred Days (1815), following him into exile at St. Helena. For 18 months he recorded his conversations with Napoleon on a wide range of topics, including principles of warfare, political philosophy, religion, legacy of the French Revolution and the Empire and other. A letter of complaint about Napoleon's treatment led to Las Cases' deportation by the British Governor Sir Hudson Lowe and the seizure of his manuscript by the British government. Forbidden to enter England, Las Cases traveled in Germany and Belgium until he was allowed to return to France after the death of Napoleon in 1822. Recovering his manuscript, he published his Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène (1823), which at once became extremely popular and laid foundation for the Napoleonic Legend. After the Revolution of 1830, he became a deputy for Saint-Denis (1831–34; 1835–39) and sat with the extreme left, opposing the rule of King Louis-Philippe.
Placed on the Napoleon Series: January 2006
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