♥ Book Title : Betsy and the Emperor
☯ Full Synopsis : ""Think, my dear -- just think what it will be like, to be known as the girl who freed the great Napoleon Bonaparte!" Fourteen-year-old English girl Betsy Balcombe and her family have a most unusual house guest: Napoleon Bonaparte, former emperor of France and the most feared man on earth. Once lord and master to eighty-two million souls, now in 1815, Napoleon is a captive of the British people. Stripped of his empire and robbed of his young family and freedom, he is confined to the forbidding, rat-infested island of St. Helena, where a cruel jailer and more than two thousand British troops guard his every move. The one bright star in Napoleon's black sky is Betsy, a blazingly rebellious teenager whose family is reluctantly housing the notorious prisoner. Betsy is the only foreigner Napoleon's ever met who is not impressed by him and doesn't tremble at the sight of him -- and Napoleon is more than intrigued. After fits and starts, a most remarkable friendship develops between Betsy and the emperor -- a friendship that transcends age and politics. As Betsy develops from a gangly, tomboyish girl to a blossoming young woman, this unexpected and wonderful alliance survives inevitable gossip and growing pains, giving Betsy the courage to pursue her dreams -- and Napoleon the courage to face his dark future. It also inspires Betsy to hatch a daring and dangerous plan on Napoleon's behalf, a scheme that could threaten both of their lives and shake entire empires to their foundations. Based on true events, Staton Rabin's story blends humor, adventure, and poignant drama, vividly revealing new insights into the heart and mind of one of the most towering, fascinating historical figures of our time -- and tells a tale of hope and bravery that will inspire readers to their own heights of courage."Article| Staton Rabin| Statement ..."
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♥ Book Title : Betsy and the Emperor
☯ Full Synopsis : "After Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, he was sent into exile on Saint Helena. He became an 'eagle in a cage', reduced from the most powerful figure in Europe to a prisoner on a rock in the South Atlantic. But the fallen emperor was charmed by the pretty teenage daughter of a local merchant, Betsy Balcombe. Anne Whitehead brings to life Napoleon's last years on Saint Helena, revealing the central role of the Balcombe family. She also lays to rest two centuries of speculation about Betsy's relationship with Napoleon. After Napoleon's death, Betsy travelled to Australia in 1823 with her father, who was appointed the first Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales. When the family lost their fortune, she returned to London and published a memoir that made her a celebrity. With her extraordinary connections to royalty and high society, Betsy Balcombe led a life worthy of a Regency romance, but she was always fighting for her independence. This new account reveals Napoleon at his most vulnerable, human and reflective, and a woman caught in some of the most dramatic events of her time. 'Anne Whitehead deftly weaves a lively, poignant tale of Napoleon's last years on St Helena and the precocious teenager whose impudent charm briefly enlivened his exile. Her indefatigable pursuit of a tantalising archival trail takes her readers from St Helena to England, Scotland, France and New South Wales, uncovering a life curiously shadowed by its early brush with fame.' - Professor Penny Russell, University of Sydney"Article| Anne Whitehead| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Napoleon & Betsy
☯ Full Synopsis : "The story of Napoleon and Betsy Balcombe is an unusual and fascinating tale. A fallen Emperor who once controlled most of Europe makes friends with an impudent, pretty and spirited young English girl, just about the celebrate her thirteenth birthday. Betsy produced a book full of interest, but notwithstanding that the book wanders backwards and forward chronologically, the general tenor of the relationship between this young girl and Napoleon is beyond question, and it was of an unusual and extremely friendly nature. Napoleon's fall from an unprecedented position of power to humiliating confinement must have been an impossible burden to have lived with, and yet, despite this - or possibly because of it - Napoleon befriended this child and held genuine affection for her. Despite the naivety, the warmth of the friendship between the ex-emperor and little 'Mees' Balcombe shines through, and her text is well-worth providing in this new edition. Napoleon was at the Briars for eight weeks, but the family were very close to the community at Longwood, some two miles further up hill and inland, and visited weekly, sometimes more often. It was here, as Betsy matured and grew more responsible, that the friendship developed, to the extent that she assisted Napoleon with his attempts at English. She was daring as well as impudent and with an irrepressible sense of humour she unlocked the inner child in Napoleon that led to the famous friendship. He found her boldness amusing and occasionally alarming. It must have been a welcome diversion from his darker thoughts."Article| Lucia Elizabeth Abell| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : The Emperor's Shadow
☯ Full Synopsis : "After Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, he was sent into exile on St Helena, arriving in October 1815. For the six years until his death, he was an 'eagle in a cage', reduced from the most powerful figure in Europe to a prisoner on a rock in the South Atlantic. But the fallen emperor was charmed and entertained by Betsy Balcombe, the pretty teenage daughter of a local merchant. Anne Whitehead brings to life Napoleon's time on St Helena and the web of connections around the globe which framed his last years. Betsy's father, William Balcombe, was well-connected in London, and he smuggled letters and undertook a clandestine mission to Paris for Napoleon. Betsy's friendship with Napoleon cast a shadow over the rest of her colourful life. She married a Regency cad, who soon left her and their daughter, and she travelled to Australia in 1823 with her father, who was appointed the first Colonial Treasurer of New South Wales. After her father was exposed for fraud and the family lost their fortune, she returned to London and published a memoir which turned her into a celebrity. With her extraordinary connections to royalty in London and to the Bonaparte family and their courtiers, Betsy Balcombe led a life worthy of a Regency romance. This new account reveals Napoleon at his most vulnerable, human and reflective, and a woman caught in some of the most dramatic events of her time."Article| Anne Whitehead| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : To Befriend an Emperor
☯ Full Synopsis : "Young Elizabeth Balcombe, or Betsy to friends and family, found life on the remote island of St Helena intolerably dull. Most fourteen-year-olds would. Her father had been posted to that unforgiving station in the Atlantic and, being a family man, he took his family with him. Life was bleak in Balcombe's bungalow on the fringe of James Town. But then, in October 1815, the situation was transformed by the arrival of an unusual visitor. Napoleon Bonaparte, one-time master of Europe, now prisoner and exile, stepped ashore. The Balcombes, like all the islanders, were amazed. And even more so when Napoleon, taking a fancy to their bungalow (the Briars) moved in with them. Betsy, overcoming her surprise at sharing her home with an emperor, delighted in his company and the two became firm friends. Miss Betsy Balcombe made the most of her time with the world's most famous prisoner, keenly observing all around her, noting down conversations, recording moods. The result is a unique set of memoirs which records in astonishing detail an almost unbelievable story. That of how a precocious teenager and an emperor talked, argued, played, confided and teased their way through grim years of exile on the barren rock of St Helena. This attractive, illustrated edition brings this remarkable story back to life."Article| Lucia Elizabeth Balcombe Abell| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Napoleon's Last Island
☯ Full Synopsis : "From the bestselling author of Schindler’s List and The Daughters of Mars, a new historical novel set on the remote island of Saint Helena about the remarkable friendship between a young woman and one of history’s most intriguing figures, Napoleon Bonaparte, during the final years of his life in exile. In October 1815, after losing the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte was banished to the island of Saint Helena. There, in one of the most remote places on earth, he lived out the final six years of his life. On this lonely island with no chance of escape, he found an unexpected ally: a spirited British girl named Betsy Balcombe who lived on the island with her family. While Napoleon waited for his own accommodations to be built, the Balcombe family played host to the infamous exile, a decision that would have devastating consequences for them all. In Napoleon’s Last Island, “master of character development and period detail” (Kirkus Reviews) Thomas Keneally recreates Betsy’s powerful and complex friendship with the man dubbed The Great Ogre, her enmities and alliances with his remaining courtiers, and her dramatic coming-of-age. Bringing a shadowy period of history to life with a brilliant attention to detail, Keneally tells the untold story of one of Europe’s most enigmatic, charismatic, and important figures, and the ordinary British family who dared to forge a connection with him."Article| Thomas Keneally| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : My Napoleon
☯ Full Synopsis : "Based on the memoirs of the real-life Betsy, this title presents the diary of little Betsy Balcombe, telling of her friendship with a Very Important Prisoner, the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who is sent to live with her family on the remote island of St Helena. Together, they make splendid toys and go for fast canters in the Emperor's carriage."Article| Catherine Brighton| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Betsy Bonaparte
☯ Full Synopsis : "Betsy's failed quest to win royal status for her son and grandsons consumed the remainder of her seventy-four years, decades that transformed her from the glamorous "belle of Baltimore" into a shrewd and successful businesswoman determined to protect her family."Article| Helen J. Burn| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Recollections of the Emperor Napoleon, on the Island of St. Helena
☯ Full Synopsis : ""Article| Lucia Elizabeth Balcombe Abell| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Betsy Bonaparte
☯ Full Synopsis : "Originally published in France in 1988, this lively biography takes the reader into the intrigues in France and early 19th-century Baltimore."Article| Claude Bourguignon-Frassetto| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Paradise Mislaid
☯ Full Synopsis : "In the 1890s after a period of social unrest, a brave band of Australians sailed from Sydney to found a communal Utopia in South America. Under the charismatic journalist William Lane, over 500 settlers, including poet Mary Gilmore, created a New Australia in the Paraguayan jungle. Their hopes soon collapsed. Many returned home. Others stayed, becoming part of the culture of their adopted country. They learned about Paraguay's Jesuit missions of the 17th and 18th centuries, perhaps the world's most successful communal settlements which were disbanded in violence, the country's catastrophic wars, its revolutions, its repressive dictators, and about another communal experiment led by Elisabeth Nietzsche and Bernhard Forster to create an Aryan master race. Anne Whitehead made three journeys to Paraguay over 12 years and, in a vivid blend of biography and travel writing, uncovers stories of the original colonists and their descendants. Some fought for the British Empire in World War I, others defended Paraguay against Bolivia in the 1932-35 Chaco War; they witnessed the arrival of Nazi war criminals, the manhunt of forest Indians and endured the 35-year dictatorship of President Alfredo Stroessner. Paradise Mislaid won the 1998 NSW Premier's Award for Australian History. Judges' citation: 'An erudite, beautifully researched work of history which knits together the stories of Paraguay and Australian emigration as a quest for Utopia... Whitehead utilises material which was not available to earlier historians. She also takes to heart the well-known adage that a tolerable pair of boots is essential for an historian, and retraces the steps of the original "New Australians" and their descendants. The result is a beautifully-crafted historical and contemporary travelogue.' 'One of the most bizarre stories in Australian history - splendidly told by one of our master story-tellers.' - Frank Moorhouse 'A superb blend of travel writing and history, during which Whitehead casts her discerning eye on the present, with pertinent excursions to the past. This personal odyssey has resulted in a wonderful, rambunctuous, passionate, picaresque narrative that combines meticulous research with compelling personal stories and acute observation. One is swept irresistibly along.' - Tim Bowden, Sydney Morning Herald 'Whitehead has produced a travel book within a carefully researched and densely documented historical frame extending across 600 pages. She is a skillful raconteur and the reader is carried along, largely unmindful that she has used the "Australian Tribe" as a peg on which to suspend her personal reminiscences of Paraguay. Her style strongly resembles the work of Paul Theroux and V.S. Naipaul.' - Transforming Anthropology 'The descendants of the tribe are a fascinating cross-section... Inevitably to follow the families is to create a portrait of Paraguayan life in the past century - a distinct mixture of good times, bad times, of dictators and war. To understand those years, the history of the country has to be traversed. Whitehead does all this with skill and understanding. She has probably the best written account of the Jesuit communes, where the Jesuits defended their converts from the slave traders, communes which lasted two hundred years, almost as long as European settlement in Australia.' - Richard Hall, Australian Book Review 'An exhaustive yet entertaining piece of historical detective work which is at once authoritative, scholarly and delightfully chatty... due to Whitehead's own indefatigable physical adventures, it's also a travel adventure to rival Bruce Chatwin's wanderings.' - The Leader 'Whitehead's book, winner of the NSW Premier's Award, has the intensity of the novel combined with the attentiveness to detail of a good travelogue, and gives a deserved prominence not only to the Paraguayan experiment but also to Australian-Latin American relations in general.' - Antipodes"Article| Anne Whitehead| Statement ..."
♥ Book Title : Wondrous Beauty
☯ Full Synopsis : "Traces the experiences of Napoleon's youngest brother's wife, whose romantic and passionate nature so infuriated the emperor that she was barred from Europe and abandoned by her husband before bearing his child and rising in intellectual and financial circles."Article| Carol Berkin| Statement ..."