This year is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. I wrote a book about Napoleon years ago, and found that after he was "captured" and taken to England, the reception there was quite the surprise.
In the summer of 1815, Plymouth, England received startling news. A ship had entered the sound with the notorious Corsican Ogre on board. England had fought different coalition wars with General Bonaparte (the government refused to accept him as in emperor) on and off since 1796, and defeated him at Waterloo on June 18, 1815.
Napoleon had thought he would be granted asylum in England, but the British government knew it would never work. He’d still be too close to France, and many in the French military were still loyal to their defeated emperor. Rebellion in France was feared. Britain had to protect the fledgling government of the unpopular Louis XVIII.
On July 26th the Bellerophon entered Plymouth Sound. A multitude of small boats, full of curious people, quickly surrounded the ship.
The British officials dreaded the sympathy their relentless enemy was garnering among the common people, and ordered the boats pushed away from the vessel.
George Keith Elphinstone, 1st Viscount Keith, was at Plymouth when Napoleon arrived. The decisions of the British government were expressed through him to the fallen Emperor.
The Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III—the king debilitated by madness since 1810—spoke in Napoleon’s favor. Allow him to remain. But the British government was adamant: Bonaparte, and everyone in his entourage, would not be allowed on England’s soil.
On July 31st, Lord Keith informed Napoleon that he would be exiled to the far, South Atlantic island of St. Helena. Under duress, Napoleon was transferred to the HMS Northumberland for the ten week voyage. He would die on the island six years later. Plymouth returned to the routine of a harbor town.
Sources: Wikipedia; In Napoleon’s Shadow, by Louis-Joseph Marchand, and my own research.
I have since written a book about a French maid who travels with Napoleon’s entourage to St. Helena, and discovers the island is haunted by vampires. Plus the enigmatic man she loves hides his own deadly secrets.
Click here to purchase A Savage Exile: vampires with Napoleon on St. Helena
Visit my website for more information about my books: http://www.dianescottlewis.org