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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 December, 2004, 13:02 GMT
Napoleon's will and memoirs sold
Napoleon's memoirs displayed at a Paris auction house
Napoleon wrote his memoirs shortly before his death in 1821
The memoirs of French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and a draft copy of his unpublished will have been sold in Paris for more than 300,000 euros.

The 84-page memoir recounts his early military campaigns that brought much of Europe under French rule.

The documents were written while he was in exile on the South Atlantic island of St Helena, where he died in 1821.

They went under the hammer on Tuesday, days after the 200th anniversary of his coronation as emperor.

The memoirs were sold to an unidentified Swiss buyer for 250,000 euros (170,000, $340,000), Drouot auction house said.

The will was sold for 110,000 euros (75,000, $149,500) to a French collector, the auction house said, without naming the buyer.

In it, Napoleon writes: "I am dying before my time, murdered by the English oligarchy and their hired assassin. The English people will not delay in avenging me."

The numerous corrections in the draft are said to show Napoleon's indecision in drawing up his last wishes.

The will was only recently discovered, and is believed to have never been published, an auctioneer told the Associated Press.

Vivid details

The memoirs are said to contain remarkable day-to-day detail written in a vivacious style as well as numerous corrections and spelling mistakes.

"The [memoirs] are extraordinary. He manages to remember what the battle sites looked like, 20 years after the event," auctioneer Eric Buffetaud said.

The memoirs were written in exile between 1817 and 1820 on St Helena, where Napoleon was sent after his defeat by allied forces at the battle of Waterloo in June 1815.

They were later published in 1823, two years after his death.




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