Copy Of Napoleon's Will To Be Sold At Auction

Nov 6, 2013
Originally published on November 6, 2013 7:21 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business: Napoleons Will. Not the force of his will, his last will and testament. The document.

The last will and testament of the man who once conquered much of Europe is being auctioned today in Paris and is expected to go for just over $100,000.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

That relatively modest price is because this is a copy. It's the only copy, mind you, transcribed by an advisor during the final days of Napoleon's life. The original letter in Napoleon's illegible handwriting is in France's National Archives. He wrote the will just 19 days before he died in exile on St. Helena Island. Included is the request that his ashes be scattered along the Seine in Paris. That never happened. He got a massive tomb instead.

INSKEEP: Though Napoleon is remembered for his impressive conquests, his will reveals just how little the general had to his name at the time of his death. That's what happens when you lose the Battle of Waterloo. A few jewels, sculptures, porcelain crockery and the odd painting, which he wanted to be given to his friends in exile.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.