Napoleon Bonaparte Letter Sold: Paris (Video)

NapolΓ©on Bonaparte; crop of The Emperor Napole...

NapolΓ©on Bonaparte; crop of The Emperor Napoleon in His Study at the Tuileries by Jacques-Louis David, 1812 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A letter written in English by Napoleon Bonaparte was sold at a French auction for 325,000 Euros. The letter was a homework exercise Napoleon sent to an English teacher, and is dated March 9, 1816. It was sold at the auction house Osenat in Fontainebleau. It was purchased by the French Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris.

The letter was written after Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, and while he was in exile at Saint Helena.

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76 Responses to Napoleon Bonaparte Letter Sold: Paris (Video)

  1. Wow! Pretty interesting stuff. I always found Napoleon an interesting character.

  2. mj monaghan says:

    It would be a shame for that not to be in a museum where it can be seen by a large number of people.

  3. Madhu says:

    How fascinating! Thank you for sharing this Mags.

  4. aFrankAngle says:

    Very interesting … but I agree with mj in terms of being in a museum. Good stuff Mags.

  5. El Guapo says:

    I wonder how many private individuals vs museums were bidding on it.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi El Guapo,
      I don’t know how many private individuals were bidding, but from the price it was sold at, I would say there may have been a few, a private collector would of loved to have this letter, and being written in English makes it very rare indeed.

  6. Very cool! Thanks for sharing, Mags.

  7. niasunset says:

    WOW! Great sale… He is one of interesting characters in the history. Thank you dear Mags, love, nia

  8. Totally fascinating. It makes me wonder how much other stuff there is like this stored away.

  9. Oh wow! I wish I had one or two of his letters hanging around in the attic.

  10. Stepping My Way to Bliss says:

    I always think I am going to find a rare antiquity like this in one of my estate sale finds some day. Yes…I am delusional.

  11. Windsmoke. says:

    He certainly made a big blunder at Waterloo and paid the price, which in the end i think he would have regretted :-).

  12. Great post, Mags! Cheers. πŸ™‚

  13. Enjoyed that informative piece of history
    Great find and well worth a place in history
    Aussie Ian

  14. malc50 says:

    Thanks Mags. Sir George Cockburn, who with General Robert Ross, burnt down Washington D.C. (including the White House) in the War of 1812, escorted Napolean to St. Helena and, was for a time, Governor of the island and Napolean’s gaoler. He wrote a book of his conversations with Napolean Bonaparte, during the voyage from England to St. Helena aboard HMS Northumberland. These make interesting reading.

  15. I’m surprised it didn’t go for more money? Wouldn’t it be great to stumble on to something like that?

  16. robincoyle says:

    Did he type it on his MacBook Pro?

  17. Without a doubt, this is THE SPOT where I learn something new every day — thank you.

  18. Hi Mags – I’m back!! That’s a lot of money for a letter…but I understand. ~Sherry~

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Sherry,
      Welcome back, it’s good to know your home, although I suspect you would like to have had your holiday last a bit longer. πŸ™‚
      The letter sold for more than they expected, there was a bit of a bidding war going on over it, but to me something like this is priceless, it can not be replaced.

  19. Hi, Mags, very interesting post! 325,000 euros? That’s hefty! Plus, it’s almost double our money here😊

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Aina,
      It is just under $US 406,000, it is a lot of money, but this letter can never be replaced so it is hard to say how much is too much, but they did get more for the letter than what they thought. πŸ™‚

      • Thats why it should really just go to the museum. because such kind of memorabilia of icon figures should be preserved by the government. coz in my opinion, it has so much historical value that would surely fascinate the coming generation too.

        • magsx2 says:

          I agree, and I was very pleased when a museum received it, I assume in time they will put it on show. I know here in Oz, there is always school excursions to museums, I assume they do this in other places as well, and to have something like this for an English class to view, or a History class, would be the icing on the cake I’m sure. πŸ™‚

  20. Mags i got to tell you,I truly love your posts. they make us laugh and smile and fill us with wonderment. I think your blog is the most entertaining,informative and well written blog I have read.
    hugs πŸ™‚

  21. Viveka says:

    Thank you … for showing this. Our royal family – is french. Jean Baptiste Bernadotte, was Napoleons best friend and when the Swedish government wrote to Napoleon and ask if he had somebody that he could recommend for the Swedish thorn and crown – because we run out … all dead. He sent his best friend, that became Kung Karl XIV Johan of Sweden but also Karl III Johan of Norway. in 1818,

  22. travelrat says:

    I think more should be made of Napoleon as a writer … after all, he did once say:

    ‘It is not enough to write (your dispatches) so that everyone could understand them. You must write so that nobody can possibly misunderstand them’

    (It is said that one member of his staff was the stupidest officer he could find. Napoleon would give him his dispatches to read before he sent them, reasoning that if he could understand them, anyone could. In the Air Force, we’d often hand a signal or letter we were about to send to a colleague, sayng ‘Do a Napoleon’s Aide on that, would you?’

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi travelrat,
      Very interesting about the staff member, and good thinking on Napoleons part as well. πŸ™‚
      That is rather funny about the Air Force and the saying. πŸ™‚

  23. Colline says:

    Now that is interesting!

  24. 325,000 Euros – as the French say, sacrebleu! πŸ™‚

  25. Yikes! Now there are political ads to muddle through on YouTube… I wonder if someday in the future the writings of our current world leaders will arouse so much interest. Fascinating information, Mags!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Barbara,
      Yes unfortunately ads are on a lot of You Tube videos now, the only way to get around them is by using firefox with ad block.
      Somehow I don’t think so, but you just never know. πŸ™‚

  26. Arindam says:

    This one is an interesting story Mags. A letter of 1816, it’s a really wonderful thing to store it in a museum. I always love to read about Napoleon.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Arindam,
      Best place for the letter to end up of course, for all to know and learn more about Napoleon, how many people knew that Napoleon was learning English for example. πŸ™‚

  27. Selma says:

    What is most incredible about this story is that, that letter has survived. WOW. What an amazing piece of history. Imagine owning it…..

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Selma,
      I would love to know the story behind the letter, it would be fascinating I am sure, and I agree I would love to own something like this. πŸ˜€

  28. Well done finding this, Mags!

  29. bronxboy55 says:

    I wish Napoleon had mailed that letter to my great-great-grandfather.

  30. He had a bit of a disability and, still, almost ruled the world! Makes me wonder what I can do?!

  31. starlaschat says:

    It’s so interesting when you can find somthing that’s actually from a part of History that has somthing tangiable to hold. It really is interesting. I guess that’s probably why artifacts are so amazing, because it gives us more information about the past.

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi starlaschat,
      I totally agree, we do learn more when things like this surface, Napoleon learning English, and learning how to write in English, I think is one of the things a lot of people learned from this find.

  32. Elyse says:

    Cool, Mags. Thanks!

  33. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as clean as when I arrived. I’ll be back!

  34. That is amazing to find something like that! I am glad it is in a museum!

    • magsx2 says:

      Hi Michael,
      I agree, being in a Museum is a very good thing. I wonder how many people actually new that Napoleon was learning English. Good also for the kids that happen to go there, to learn a little bit more of the history.

  35. Pingback: Napoleon Essay: Works Cited | Poet's Corner

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