This is a rare document of unusual historical interest. It is an account of the events leading up to Napoleon’s first abdication at the Palace of Fontainebleau near Paris in 1814. The account was written at the fallen Emperor’s express command by Baron Fain, his Cabinet secretary. The book contains a facsimile of Napoleon’s own handwriting in his (unreadable) instrument of abdication. The first part of the book chronicles Napoleon’s movements and manoeuvres between November 1813 and January 1814 as he strove to avoid abdicating and drive wedges between the countries of the coalition which had overwhelmed him – Britain, Prussia, Russia, Austria and Sweden. The second, larger, portion of the narrative contains a journal of Napoleon’s only campaign fought on French soil – the 1814 ‘campaign of France’ – rated by many as his most brilliant when sometimes fighting an engagement every two days, he desperately fought off the advancing Prussians under Marshal Blucher for two months. Finally, the third part of the book, describes the scene of the abdication at Fontainebleau, and an appendix lists the terms of Napoleon’s surrender, which saw him exiled to a ‘mini-kingdom’ on the island of Elba – an exile which would detain him for just eleven months until his final hurrah in the 100 days ending at Waterloo.
MANUSCRIPT OF 1814 A History of Events which Led to the Abdication of Napoleon.
A description – written at Napoleon’s personal command – of his final months in power before his abdication and first exile to Elba. Contains an account of his final ‘Campaign of France’ during which he fought a battle every two days against the advancing Prussians.