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The Reluctant King: Joseph Bonaparte, King Of The Two Sicilies And Spain Michael Ross

The Reluctant King: Joseph Bonaparte, King Of The Two Sicilies And Spain

Michael Ross

Published
ISBN : 9780884054931
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 About the Book 

Joseph Bonaparte, the elder brother of the great Napoleon, has been sadly neglected by historians. This is the first major biography to be published in English. Moreover, with the exception of Bernard Narbonnes study, published in Paris in 1949, andMoreJoseph Bonaparte, the elder brother of the great Napoleon, has been sadly neglected by historians. This is the first major biography to be published in English. Moreover, with the exception of Bernard Narbonnes study, published in Paris in 1949, and Gabriel Girod de lAins more recent monumental work, published in Paris in 1970, the few historians to write on Joseph have concentrated only on specific periods of his life - as Ambassador to Rome, as King of the two Sicilies or as King of Spain, or his subsequent exiles in Switzerland and America. The Reluctant King admirably fills the gap in the vast collection of Napoleana and at last provides British readers with a comprehensive and revealing biography of Joseph Bonaparte, whose chequered life makes fascinating reading. Michael Ross makes extensive use of Josephs memoirs and correspondence, including many letters to and from Napoleon, never as yet published in English, and he exposes a great many myths that have grown up around Napoleon. Joseph, despite his many faults, emerges as a loveable and highly intelligent man, the victim of his younger brothers overweaning ambition. As Frederic Masson wrote, Of all Napoleons family, Joseph deserves a place apart... Joseph, who has never been accorded the merits he deserves, was of all the Bonapartes the most level-headed... of all Napoleons brothers, he alone deserved to be worthy of a Kingdom.