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    Sale 7590

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    4 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 143

    [NAPOLEON I (1769-1821), Emperor of the French]. Captain Engelbert LUTYENS (1784-1830). Series of 22 autograph letters signed ('E. Lutyens') to Major Gideon Gorrequer, Longwood [St Helena], 28 March 1820 - 10 April 1821, approx 39 pages, 8vo (minor soiling and remnants of mounts, occasional damage to folds), the letters numbered '14'-'34' in pencil (letter of 23 Sep 1820 unnumbered) and with some light editorial cancellations in pencil, docketed by recipient on integral blanks.

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    Estimate

    [NAPOLEON I (1769-1821), Emperor of the French]. Captain Engelbert LUTYENS (1784-1830). Series of 22 autograph letters signed ('E. Lutyens') to Major Gideon Gorrequer, Longwood [St Helena], 28 March 1820 - 10 April 1821, approx 39 pages, 8vo (minor soiling and remnants of mounts, occasional damage to folds), the letters numbered '14'-'34' in pencil (letter of 23 Sep 1820 unnumbered) and with some light editorial cancellations in pencil, docketed by recipient on integral blanks.

    SPYING ON NAPOLEON ON ST HELENA. As the orderly officer assigned to Napoleon from 10 February 1820 to 15 April 1821 (three weeks before the former emperor's death), Captain Lutyens's duties included reporting each day on his captive's activities and the comings and goings of his household, no matter how mundane. Accordingly the series of letters opens with the arrival of a plumber at Longwood, and the reports thereafter give a strong impression of the monotony of Napoleon's existence, as well as indicating the distance at which Lutyens was kept. In general they are confined to brief accounts of Napoleon's walks and occasional rides, and of his dress (invariably morning dress): 'Genl Bonaparte was walking in the outer garden with Count Montholon, some time after gun fire at sun set. Count Bertrand the Countess and Dr Antonmarchi [sic] rode out yesterday afternoon and did not return until five minutes after seven oClock. They entered Longwood by the Guard House Gate' (17 April 1820); 'Genl Bonaparte was in the Garden last even[in]g in his Morn[in]g dress accompanied by Count Montholon' (19 July); 'Genl Bonaparte has not been seen in the Gardens this morning, but at ½ past 10 oClock he was at the window of the Bath room, where he remained a few moments, looking at the Gardens' (29 July); 'Yesterday evening Genl Bonaparte walked in the wood. He had the old Carriage out to Practice the Postillions & made them drive close up to the inner Garden Gate, several times' (29 August); 'Yesterday afternoon at two oClock Genl Bonaparte walked down to the Stables and ordered the horses to be put to the Phaeton immediately. He then drove about the wood until ½ past 3 unaccompanied' (2 October); 'A few Moments after the Governor left Longwood this even[in]g I saw Genl Bonaparte leaning on Count Montholon's Arm walk a little below the Stables' (21 January 1821). The last letter is only three weeks before Napoleon's death (on 5 May): 'Count Montholon sat up with Genl Bonaparte last night, the same as the night before. He mentioned to me that the Genl had passed a better night, than he had for some time' (10 April).

    Although in his fourteen months as orderly officer to Napoleon, he is though never once to have conversed with the former emperor, Captain Lutyens was the recipient of one friendly gesture, when Napoleon made him the conduit for the presentation of a copy of William Coxe's Memoirs of the Duke of Marlborough (1818-19) to his regiment, the 20th Foot -- his acceptance of which was however to provoke his removal from his post. The recipient of the correspondence, Major Gorrequer, was aide-de-camp and acting military secretary to Sir Hudson Lowe. The present letters do not feature among the 230 or more published in Sir Lees Knowles, ed. The letters of Captain Engelbert Lutyens, orderly officer at Longwood, Saint Helena (1915), which draws on letters preserved at the British Library, Add. 20211. (22)


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