Autograph letter with signature, one page, 4,5 x 7 inch, London (from English Exile), 8.11.1838*, in French, to `Lady Morgan`** - concerning an invitation, written and signed (in the third person) in dark black ink "Le Prince Napoleon" - additionally dated by a later collector to the upper left corner, attractively mounted (removable) for display with a picture, shows Napoleon III. in a half length portrait in uniform (altogether 11,75 x 8,25 inch), with horizontal letter folds, and toning (especially to the lower edge) - in fine condition. "Le prince Napoléon, en arrivant hier de Leamington où il l`est fixé à trouvé le billet de Lady Morgan. Il regrette infiniment de ne pas pouvoir profiter de son aimable invitation. Il la prie de recevoir l'assurance de ses sentiments distingués." Translated: "Prince Napoleon, in arriving yesterday from Leamington where he had been settled, found Lady Morgan`s note. He infinitely regrets not being able to enjoy her aimable invitation. He begs her to receive the assurance of his distinguished sentiments." * After September 1830, the Bonaparte Family was no longer banned from France, but one of its members soon made himself persona non grata with the reigning Orleans monarchy. Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, one of Napoleon Bonaparte's nephews, attempted to capitalize on his uncle's political prestige by fomenting discontent in French provinces. In April 1834, Louis-Napoleon had supported rebels in Lyon, and in October 1836, he was involved in a failed coup d'etat in Strasbourg. After a short time in prison, he wandered through the United States, Holland, and Germany before seeking exile in England in October 1838. Louis-Napoleon traveled to Leamington Spa, a resort town in central England, via the London-Birmingham Railway, arriving on November 3, 1838. He and his retinue stayed first at the Regent Hotel and later at 6 Clarendon Square. Louis-Napoleon was very much the local celebrity. He played billiards at the town Assembly rooms, went hunting, and was the guest of honor at many receptions. While there, it is possible that he also took the waters. At any rate, five days after his arrival in Leamington Spa, Louis-Napoleon had returned to London, where he discovered Lady Morgan had stopped by. ** `Lady Morgan` was almost certainly Lady Sydney Owenson Morgan (1781-1859), the Irish novelist who first won acclaim with her Wild Irish Girl (1806). Morgan contributed to the Romantic movement through her interest in music, poetry, literature, nature, and nationalism. In 1838, she may have been working on a novel that she would publish two years later called Woman and her Master. Lady Morgan was also a frequent correspondent of Louis-Napoleon's uncle's first wife, Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte (1785-1879).
|Profession||President of the French Second Republic|
|Year of birth||1808|
|year of death||1873|
|Size in inch (1 inch = 2.5 cm)||4,5 x 7 (altogether 11,75 x 8,25)|
|Type of Autograph||letters|
|Expert comment||While it is true that Louis-Napoleon's cousin Napoleon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte was styled `Prince Napoleon` the latter would have been only sixteen when this letter was written. Both handwriting analysis and historical records indicate that the letter was written by the future Napoleon III.|