In Conversation with Napoleon Bonaparte: J. H. Vivian’s Visit to the Island of Elba


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John Henry Vivian (1785-1855) was a leading British copper-master and one of the makers of modern Swansea. As a young man, in 1814-15 he made a tour of the Continent of Europe during which he met the deposed Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Vivian kept a journal of his travels, and this book publishes his account of his experiences on Elba and in Italy and Eastern Europe. It paints a portrait of Napoleon and his state of mind in the months before he escaped and was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo; it describes Napoleon’s tiny kingdom of Elba and its famous iron mines which later in the century gave their name to the mining community of Elba, near Swansea; and it records Vivian’s fascination with the salt mines and metallurgical industries of Germany and Poland.

‘Ralph Griffiths has done a fine job of editing the texts: knowledgeable and informative introductory material; pertinent and unfussy annotation. Overall, this is an excellent addition to a very worthwhile series’ – Michael Cardy in Minerva #16

South Wales Record Society publication no. 20
Edited by Ralph A. Griffiths
Published 2008, Paperback

This publication is sold and dispatched by the South Wales Record Society.


Additional information

Weight 0.360 kg
Dimensions 21.6 × 15.4 × 5.5 cm


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