Friday, September 20, 2013

A Spark Unseen Blog Hop, Day 10: Napoleon III Fun Facts

Please Welcome Sharon Cameron!

I am so excited to host Sharon Cameron here on Small Review! Last year I was surprised by how much I loved the first book in her Gothic/steampunk series The Dark Unwinding. Even more surprising was how much I loved the follow up A Spark Unseen even more!

I'll be reviewing A Spark Unseen soon, but until then Sharon has some nifty facts about Napoleon III to share with you today. Napoleon III (and his notorious behavior) play a key role in A Spark Unseen, and being both a lover of history and this series, I am super excited to be able to host this stop on the tour.

Check out Sharon's website for more information about the blog tour!
Stop by J reads YA! for the previous tour stop or head over to Book Brats for the next stop!

Napoleon III Fun Facts

Charles Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, or Emperor Napoleon III, Fun Facts (and this time they really are facts!):

*Charles Louis-Napoléon’s mother, Hortense, was the step-daughter and a great favorite of Napoleon Bonaparte I, who was then Emperor of France. At Napoleon I’s request, Hortense was married to Louis, his brother. The marriage was an unhappy one, and the gossips of the time said that the resulting children of this marriage, including Charles Louis, were not the sons of the Emperor’s brother, but of Napoleon I himself. When asked about his parentage, Charles Louis’s only recorded response was, “I have done my math.” The identity of Napoleon III’s father is still debated among historians.

*Napoleon III was a noted “ladies’ man.” He was rumored to have fathered several illegitimate children during his lifetime, one when he spent a number of months in London with a local actress. There were at least two other children that he quietly supported (without the knowledge of the Empress), along with several mistresses. In 2011 a Napoleon DNA project was begun, attempting to find and identify all the children of the male Bonapartes.

Dashing, huh?

*Before proposing to the Empress Eugenie, Napoleon III asked for the hand of sixteen year old Princess Adelheid, the niece of Queen Victoria. Victoria strongly disapproved, and the princess’s parents therefore refused their consent.

*There were at least two assassination attempts against Napoleon III during his reign as Emperor. One in 1855, and the most infamous attempt in 1858, when an Italian radical threw bombs of his own design at the royal carriage while the Emperor was on his way to the opera. 8 people were killed and 142 wounded, though the Emperor and Empress were unhurt. There was also a “plan of assassination” recorded to have been “broken up” in September of 1854, though the details of this remain shrouded in mystery.

*Perhaps because of the constant threat to his life, Napoleon III was extremely superstitious. He kept a spiritualist in the Tuileries Palace, and regularly held séances there. He believed that his life was being guided by the supernatural spirit of Napoleon I.

*Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon III, died in exile in 1874 after having been ousted from the throne of France by his own people. His son with Eugenie, Prince Louis, born in 1855, died childless just six years later. And though Napoleon III had been both the first elected president and last monarch of France, the rule of the Bonapartes was forever ended.

About A Spark Unseen:

The thrilling sequel to Sharon Cameron’s blockbuster gothic steampunk romance, THE DARK UNWINDING, will captivate readers anew with mystery and intrigue aplenty.

When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.

But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust–if anyone–to protect her uncle from danger once and for all.

Filled with deadly twists, whispering romance, and heart-stopping suspense, this sequel to THE DARK UNWINDING whisks readers off on another thrilling adventure.

Author bio:

Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Sharon!

Have you read A Spark Unseen or the first book The Dark Unwinding?


  1. Oh gosh! I remember really wanting to reading the first book, The Dark Unwinding, when it came out but then I got busy and totally forgot. Stupid real life, always gets in the way of reading. I will have to check this series out, especially with learning all the new tidbits about Napoleon III.

  2. I really don't know that much about Napoleon III so thanks for the facts-I should read up a bit more about him!

    1. That's exactly what I thought! Napoleon I gets all the attention (of course) but I kind of lose track of French history after that.

  3. I have researched a bit about the September 11 1854 Assassination attempt. It is part of my wife's family history - Her Great Great Grandfather was indicted, but he fled to England and then New York to avoid extradition.
    Nicholas-Jules Jacquin and Celestin-Nicholas Jacquin were involved in a
    plot to kill Napoleon III of France. They were both French citizens
    residing in Belgium. On 11 September 1854 explosives were found under the
    train tracks before Napoleon III's train was to pass. It was found out
    before they could conduct their attack. One or both of the Jacquins was
    arrested in Belgium. France tried to extradite them. Through a number of
    legal challenges and rulings in 1854 and 55 the judiciary of Belgium
    determined that the action was politically motivated and therefore they
    would be freed. This led to a change in the extradition laws in Belgium and
    across continental Europe, hence the large number of books documenting the
    incident and the trials. According to one of the French articles, after
    they were released they seem to have gone to Grande-Bretagne (Great
    Britain) at which point the historical records seem to be silent.

    Some information on the trial is in the Journal des débats politiques et littéraires
    Sunday 12 August 1855.


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