|Title||fragment from one of Naoleon's coffins|
|Description||small strip of wood that formed part of one of Napoleon's coffins; inscribed in ink in French; fair; complete; 106mm l x 21mm w x0.5 mm d;|
The Brontes had been fascinated by both Wellington and Napoleon. On 4th August 1843, Charlotte's tutor M. Heger presented her with this fragment from Napoleon's coffin. Here, it is pictured with a note written by Charlotte, authenticating the item.
August 4th 1843 - Brussels - Belgium
1 o'clock pm...
Monsieur Heger has just been into the 1st class and given me this relic - he bought it from his intimate friend Mr Lebel.
Mr Lebel was the Secretary of the prince Achille Murat - The Prince de Joinville son of Louis Philippe brought over the remains of Bonaparte from St Helena.
- So I am curious why Mr. Heger gave Charlotte this present
- Did Mr. Heger had reached out to her with his most personal and thoughtful gift yet, a relic at once to be revered for its connections and regarded with a touch of pleasant mutual cynicism, a continuation of their conversation about the emperor and his British nemesis, and a reminder of her triumphant essay on the subject; a small gift which could be slipped into her hand without fuss, which Madame Heger would never notice, and which, above all, was a token of her abiding place in his thoughts.