My imagination captured this week by a beautiful book: The Emperor's Last Island by Julia Blackburn. It gives an account of the last few years of Napoleon's life, spent as a prisoner on the island of St Helena.
The writing shines, peppered with the author's own experience of travelling to St Helena, quotes from the journals and letters of people who lived on the island with Napoleon, and a number of bons mots from the man himself:
"Who screams the loudest on the battlefields, the English or the French?" (p. 152)
"Which is more refreshing, milk of almonds or lemonade?" (p. 153)
"Doctor, you have known the human body so intimately, have you never found the soul when you were at work with your scalpel? In which organ do you think it might reside?" (p. 161)
Fascinating insights into the mind of one of the most famous men of all time, a mind that was clearly active, curious, creative, questioning. Words that seem to speak of a man who deserves the reputation of being larger than life.