The Prisoners of Cabrera by Denis Smith
Napoleon's Forgotten Soldiers, 1809-1814

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After their surrender at the Battle of Bailen, 12,000 French prisoners of war were exiled to the bleak island of Cabrera in the Mediterranean, eight miles from Majorca, with only the clothes on their backs, no shelter, insufficient fresh water, and no food supply other than the meager rations dropped off intermittently by the Spanish. By the time they were repatriated to France after Napoleon’s defeat five years later, their number had dwindled to 2,500. Never before told in English, the story of Cabrera is not only a riveting account of survival and the community formed by these men, but also an intriguing look at the politics of divided Spain during this period.

About Denis Smith

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DENIS SMITH has had a distinguished career as a professor of Canadian politics, university administrator, and author. He was the founding editor of the "Journal of Canadian Studies" from 1966 to 1975 and editor of the "Canadian Forum" from 1975 to 1979. His books include a biography of Liberal cabinet minister Walter Gordon, "Gentle Patriot" and of Conservative prime minister John Diefenbaker in "Rogue Tory", both of which won the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography.Canadian Author
Published January 1, 2001 by McClelland & Stewart. 224 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Finally returned to France after five years, many of the surviving prisoners experienced what would today be classified as post-traumatic stress disorder, “manifested in anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, or similar complaints.” Scarcely any of them are known to history, and the whole Cabrer...

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Publishers Weekly

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They established a newspaper, filling it with fictitious stories of French glory, and a theater company devoted to French classics.

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