Exile on Saint Helena
Napoleon on Saint Helena
Britain kept Napoleon on the island of Saint Helena
in the Atlantic Ocean, 1,870 km (1,162 mi) from the west coast of Africa. Napoleon was moved to Longwood House
there in December 1815; it had fallen into disrepair, and the location was damp, windswept and unhealthy.[citation needed
] The Times
published articles insinuating the British government was trying to hasten his death, and he often complained of the living conditions in letters to the governor and his custodian, Hudson Lowe
With a small cadre of followers, Napoleon dictated his memoirs and grumbled about conditions. Lowe cut Napoleon's expenditure, ruled that no gifts were allowed if they mentioned his imperial status, and made his supporters sign a guarantee they would stay with the prisoner indefinitely.
While in exile, he wrote a book about Julius Caesar
, one of his great heroes.
, Saint Helena: site of Napoleon's captivity
There were rumors of plots and even of his escape, but in reality no serious attempts were made.
For English poet Lord Byron
, Napoleon was the epitome of the Romantic hero, the persecuted, lonely, and flawed genius.