Napoleon's English lessons sell for 90,000 euros
Tuesday 07 June 2011
Napoleon's first English lessons while he was banished to exile on the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena fetched more than 93,000 euros at an auction in France Sunday, several times more than they had been valued.
Three lots of text in English and French, as well as drawings, by the fallen emperor had been valued 7,000 to 9,500 euros, said the Osenat auction house.
"Qu'es qui étoit arrivé. What was it arrived," Napoleon wrote in his first stumbling efforts to grasp the language of his adversaries.
In other exercises he wrote: "Combien etoint-ils. How many were they" and "Comment se portoient-ils. How do they do".
The private Museum of Letters and Manuscripts in Paris paid 93,125 euros for the lots, which it said it would put on display from June 21.
The same museum paid 53,750 euros for manuscripts that Napoleon edited at Saint Helena for his memoirs, including his account of his victorious Battle of the Bridge of Arcole in 1796.
It also bought a list of assembly member votes during the French Revolution on the sentence for Louis XVI, who was eventually sent to the guillotine in 1793.
The manuscript of about 20 pages is one of several copies, with the original held in the Archives of France. It nonetheless fetched 35,000 euros after being estimated at between 2,000 and 3,000 euros.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the auction was that 187,500 euros was handed over for a document concerning the end of the French expedition in Egypt. It had been valued at between 6,000 and 8,000 euros.
The 29-line missive by Egyptian general Ya'qub Hanna to Napoleon is written in gold and black ink.
After his defeat to the British at the 1815 Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon was imprisoned and then exiled to Saint Helena where he died in 1821 age 51.
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 2 As the world mourned the death of Cecil the lion, five endangered elephants were killed in Kenya
- 3 Amazon Prime - how to cancel: after Top Gear hiring, instructions on how to leave premium service
- 4 What is halal meat and why is it controversial?
- 5 Living in Spain and commuting to London 'cheaper than actually working in London'
Black Mass full trailer: Watch an unrecognisable Johnny Depp play notorious US gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger
Frank Ocean, where's that new album at?
Top Gear trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May heading to Amazon Prime for new car show
Benedict Cumberbatch has 1,480 lines in Hamlet - so what's the secret to actors' memory skills?
Jon Snow: Kit Harington spotted in Belfast where Game of Thrones season 6 is filming
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'