BENHAMOU Albert, Inside Longwood - Barry O'Meara's clandestine letters
© Albert Benhamou Publishing
From the publishers:
Barry O'Meara was the Navy surgeon chosen by Napoleon in July 1815 to follow him to St. Helena as his personal physician. O'Meara's unique position among the captives gave him an insight into their personal routines and thoughts. His status as a British officer gave him access to Plantation House, seat of the Governor of St. Helena, Napoleon's "gaoler" Sir Hudson Lowe.
Despite the restrictions that surrounded Longwood House, Napoleon's residence, O'Meara decided to conduct a clandestine correspondence with John Finlaison, a friend at the Admiralty in London. His letters recorded his private conversations with the illustrious captive, who became increasingly irritated by Sir Hudson Lowe. In the autumn of 1817, when Napoleon's health began to decline, the Governor would not believe his physician's diagnosis. Pressure was exerted upon O'Meara, but to no avail, and finally, in July 1818, he was expelled from Longwood. Without medical assistance for over a year, and increasingly isolated in his wretched, damp abode, Napoleon's health gradually deteriorated leading to his death in May 1821.
These clandestine letters offer an invaluable insight into Napoleon's state of mind during his captivity. O'Meara would later use them to compile his famous book, A Voice from St. Helena, in 1822. However, in the published work, he exercised restraint and softened the tone of the original letters which now for the first time are published in their entirety in Inside Longwood.
Place and publisher: Albert Benhamou Publishing
Date of publication: 2012
Number of pages: 235
This week’s book(s):
From the publishers:
In this book, the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Alan Taylor tells the story of a war that redefined North America. During the early nineteenth century, Britons and Americans renewed their struggle over the legacy of the American Revolution. Soldiers, immigrants, settlers, and Indians fought in a northern borderland to determine the fate of a continent. Would revolutionary republicanism sweep the British from Canada? Or would the British empire contain, divide, and ruin the shaky American republic?
During the war, both sides struggled to sustain armies in a northern land of immense forests, vast lakes, and stark seasonal changes. After fighting each other to a standstill, the Americans and the British concluded that they could safely share the continent along a border that favored the United States.
A vivid narrative of an often brutal (and sometimes comic) war that reveals much about the tangled origins of the United States and Canada.
Read a review of this book by Ivan Lett in Open Letters Monthly.
Read a review of this book by Gordon S. Wood, "The War We Lost - and Won" in The New York Review of Books.
Place and publisher: Knopf: a edition
Date of publication: 2010
Number of pages: 640
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