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Napoleon's Rosebud

by Humphry Knipe  US United States

April 15, 2017   |    787 reads    |   0 comments

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Napoleon's Rosebud - Book coverYou are the high spirited 19-year-old daughter of a penniless widow, born and brought up on an isolated, windswept South Atlantic island, a girl with virtually no prospects, when out of the blue the most famous man on earth falls into your lap.

Still smarting from his defeat at Waterloo, still the hero of Liberals everywhere, Napoleon has been exiled to tiny Saint Helena because it is the remotest and most easily defended island in the British Empire. But far from being broken by defeat, Napoleon’s fertile imagination seethes with escape schemes. He meets you on his first evening on the island and instantly knows he has found what he is looking for: someone to set him free.

Author's Note: 

This clandestine affair between an imprisoned emperor and the island girl who tries to set him free has a very personal backstory. When I was a child back home in South Africa my grandfathnce with the great man. A big print of Napoleon hung on his living room wall. “Remember that we have been touched by greatness,” were his enigmatic last words. When I researched this claim many years later and discovered the Rosebud legend I realized why my grandfather, a Victorian gentleman, hadn’t gone into detail. Charlotte Knipe, said to be the most beautiful girl on Saint Helena at the time, is on record as having been a frequent guest of the emperor and rumored to have been his lover. Rosebud is the my great-great-grandaunt. The “touch of greatness” was Napoleon’s.

About The Author

I am a South African who attended Rhodes University, worked as a reporter on The Pretoria News, taught high school English and then emigrated to London in 1966. I met my future wife, glamour photographer Suze Randall there at the height of the swinging sixties while I was writing The Dominant Man: The Pecking Order in Human Society which was published in five languages. We emigrated to Los Angeles in 1975 where we were on the Playboy Mansion’s celebrity studded “Gang List” for two years until we showed Hugh Hefner the proofs of a book I had written about the experience. To my astonishment... more

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