“If I was free, I would go to America. I would gather all my family”.
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(Napoléon to General Bertrand, Sainte-Hélène notebooks, February 1819)
June 1815, Waterloo. For the second time, Napoleon abdicates. He has made up his mind: America will be his safe haven and “Colonel Muiron” his new name. His military and political career is over, he considers another destiny: a scientific one. Aged 45, he is determined not to end his life, like George Washington, tending his garden. The Emperor asks the provisional government to have two frigates at his disposal in Rochefort to take him and his several dozen followers to New York. Instead, he is taken by the English to a deserted island in the South Atlantic Ocean, where he dies five and a half years later. Of all the Bonapartes, only Napoleon's eldest brother Joseph, the former king of Spain, reaches America in the summer of 1815. There he lives for 17 years in a magnificent New Jersey mansion that becomes a gateway for refugees of the Empire.
This novel imagines the life of Napoleon had he reached the shores of America. The historical context and all the characters did exist, but the life of “Colonel Muiron”, surrounded by his small court of Empire dignitaries and Waterloo veterans, as he discovers America and tries to adapt to this puritanical and disconcerting young nation is