Sunday, 9 December 2007

Napoleon Manuscript Page Makes $35,400

A single manuscript page from a love story written by Napoleon Bonaparte sold at auction in France on Sunday for $35,400, an auction house said.

The item up for sale was the first page of the final draft of Napoleon's 1795 short novel "Clisson and Eugenie," said the Osenat auction house, based in Fontainebleau outside Paris.

The novel, never published in Napoleon's lifetime, was loosely based on the author's brief romance with Desiree Clary, the sister of his brother's wife.

Scholars only realized the page's significance recently. It was long believed to be a page from a text Napoleon wrote about a historical figure named Clissot until Peter Hicks, a historian at the Fondation Napoleon, realized it was the beginning of his novel.

"Clisson and Eugenie," only 22 pages in its original handwritten form, was written when Napoleon was a 26-year-old general.

Desiree Clary was descended from the O’Cleary family of County Limerick. Cleary’s Stores, the huge department store in Dublin is from the same family. Desiree later married Marshal Barnadotte. They became King and Queen of Sweden and established the present royal line.

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