Napoleon's Exile by Patrick Rambaud

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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.

About Patrick Rambaud

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Patrick Rambaud was born in 1946 in Paris, where he still resides. He is the author of over thirty book, including The Battle and The Retreat, and has been awarded France's prestigious Prix Goncourt and the Grand Prix Roman de l'Academie Francaise.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 352 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Rambaud draws sharply detailed portraits of the actors in his well-paced historical drama, which attains moments worthy of Hugo, as when a crowd of boulevardiers and solid citizens gathers to greet the allies: “We’ve been waiting so long for this liberation,” says an excited young noblewoman, whi...

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Publishers Weekly

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Glory is in short supply, but there is plenty of bad behavior detailed in this colorful, exhaustively researched conclusion to Rambaud's popular trilogy (volume one, The Battle , won the Prix Goncourt), mostly a character study of Napoleon during the era of his first abdication.

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