What I am reading now

Sunday, July 25, 2004


Napoleon Bonaparte was not murdered, but was killed by his overenthusiastic doctors, according to a study of records from the emperor's final weeks. Controversy over Napoleon's death in exile on the island of St Helena has been raging for more than half a century. Most historians accept the official version: that he died from stomach cancer.

This was the verdict of an autopsy by his personal physician, Francesco Antommarchi, which was observed by five English doctors. What is more, Napoleon's father had died of the same disease. The most colourful version of events is that the emperor was murdered by his confidant Count Charles de Montholon. The army officer was supposedly in the pay of French royalists worried that Napoleon would return to France. Montholon could have poisoned the emperor by putting arsenic in his wine - an idea that was bolstered by the discovery of arsenic in locks of Napoleon's hair collected after his death.

Now forensic pathologist Steven Karch at the San Francisco Medical Examiner's Department and his team have come up with the idea that it was medical misadventure that finished Napoleon off.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails