Troubador Leonie and the Last Napoleon

Released: 05/07/2010

ISBN: 9781848763722

eISBN: 9781780889061

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Leonie and the Last Napoleon


This remarkable novel is based on the diary of the author's great-grandmother Leonie Michel, born at the height of the 1848 revolution in Paris.

Deadly illness and danger stalk her early life and her father, a doctor, faces ruin when he is prosecuted for treating patients with a revolutionary new cure before he is qualified. But when the Emperor Napoleon III calls on his brilliant medical skills, Leonie finds herself catapulted into glittering Paris society.

As a blonde beauty of 17, she naturally catches the eye of the ageing emperor and his son and Napoleon encourages her to become an actress.

Leonie finds herself mixing with celebrated writers, musicians and artists, plus the dashing soldiers of the Imperial Guard and their gilded women. But her life is threatened when she is kidnapped and held to ransom. And then France stumbles into war. When the enemy invades, Leonie's circle is torn apart and some of her closest friends are killed. She flees to England for safety, where she discovers that the exiled emperor is planning one last throw of the dice.

BBC History Magazine July 2010

Kibworth & District Chronicle May 2010

The final chapter in the story of the last Napoleon is still being written as the French belatedly seek from Britain the return of his mortal remains. To gain a vivid picture of his tumultuous life and times, you can do no better than read this enthralling book.
From boudoir to battlefield, searing passion pulsates through the pages of this family saga. Set against the political turmoil and appalling bloodshed of 19th century Europe, "Leonie" is doubly compelling for being based on the real lives of "ordinary" characters swept along by extraordinary events.

With refreshing directness and pace, Tony Boullemier charts the erratic fortunes of his eponymous forbear - as a young beauty, catching the emperor's predatory eye, as a member of the hated bourgeoisie, fleeing the murderous mob.

The reader is time-warped back to the age of do-or-die cavalrymen and crinolined courtesans, sexual scandal and international intrigue. A well-researched epic peppered with offbeat historical facts, the tale romps along at exhilarating speed. The pages almost turn themselves . . . Geoff Compton.

by Geoff Compton

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