Clisson and Eugénie is a romantic novella written by Napoleon Bonaparte, yes, that Napoleon Bonaparte. The book is mostly scholarly interpretation of this short story.
Clisson and Eugénie by Napoleon Bonaparte is a very short story (30 pages) which was written by the general over a period of time and pieced together by scholars. Even though Napoleon was 26 when he wrote this story, it is not his first work having written essays and other short stories.
The story was written to commemorate a yearlong love affair of Napoleon with the lovely Desirée Eugénie Clary, whom he wanted to wed. The lovely bride took her time answering and the geographical distance was no help either.
A year went by, and Napoleon was asking his beloved to forget him, and ,anyway, he met a certain Josephine de Beauharnais.
Such stories helped Napoleon relax, mental therapy and relieve the boredom of army life. This specific story was written as an exercise. The story is very short, around 17 pages, and certainly shows why Napoleon chose soldiering over writing, even though I’m sure there were many other, much better, reasons. However it’s always interesting to read such stories and get an insight into such a huge personality. For example the short sentences, some which span months and years, show his impatience and famous temper.
The interesting parts of the book are the scholarly essays and commentaries by Peter Hicks and Emilie Barthet which give insight into the mind of Napoleon and extrapolate the meaning behind this short story.
The scholars complies this story from multiple drafts, published, unpublished and those that were thought to be lost. They sat and identified the parts of the story from the five attempts which Napoleon made to write this story.Powered by Sidelines