The Info List - Clisson Et Eugénie

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CLISSON ET EUGéNIE is a romantic novella, written by Napoleon
. Napoleon
wrote Clisson et Eugénie in 1795, and it is widely acknowledged as being a fictionalised account of the doomed romance of a soldier and his lover, which paralleled Bonaparte's own relationship with Eugénie Désirée Clary .


* 1 Synopsis * 2 Compilation of Clisson et Eugénie * 3 English translation and republication * 4 References


Clisson, a heroic revolutionary French soldier, but tired of war, meets and falls for Eugénie at a public bath. Retiring from the military, Clisson and Eugénie marry and raise several children within an idyllic countryside retreat, but war returns and Clisson feels compelled to serve his country. Unfortunately, Clisson is injured in battle and Berville, a comrade sent to reassure Eugénie, seduces his wife, who stops sending Clisson letters. Heartbroken at the end of his marriage, Clisson then sends off one final letter to his unfaithful wife and her new lover before deliberately engineering his death at the front of an armed charge toward the enemy.

Some observers have claimed that Napoleon
was influenced by the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau , particularly La Nouvelle Héloïse
La Nouvelle Héloïse
(1761) and Goethe
's The Sorrows of Young Werther
The Sorrows of Young Werther


Peter Hicks (a British historian) and Emilie Barthet compiled the current reconstructed and composite version of Clisson et Eugénie from multiple drafts. The manuscript had previously been unpublished, fragmented and dispersed. One fragment was in the possession of Étienne Soulange-Bodin , an expert horticulturalist at the Château de Malmaison , the final home of the Empress Joséphine
Empress Joséphine
, Napoleon's first wife. On 22 November 1821, it was then handed to a British francophile, which resided in her or his collection until it was then purchased at an auction in Sotheby\'s , London, in July 1938. Its purchaser, Hermann Eisemann, then onsold it in New York, leading to the ownership of a Cuban national, Julio Lobo . In 2005, it reappeared amidst the collection of an Italian autograph dealer, Fausto Foroni. This segment of the manuscript was unpublished until its rediscovery, compilation and publication.

A second fragment resided within the collection of Count Titus Dzialynski, a Polish bibliophile, containing forty pages of folio manuscript in Napoleon's handwriting. It was authenticated by Napoleon's personal staff when he was given the second segment in May 1822. This segment was finally published for the first time in 1920 and several times thereafter.

A third section consisted of four pages, exchanged amongst antiquarians and manuscript collectors within London early last century. British property developer and socialist Howard Samuel purchased the pages for two thousand three hundred pounds in 1955. These pages are now housed in the Karpeles Manuscript Libr