Naples: 13 November, 1813.
Engraved royal arms of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. One page. Folio. Slightly faded and soiled. Matted and framed Item #247608
Handsome document signed by the gallant and flamboyant brother-in-law of Napoleon. Murat was one of Napoleon’s boldest marshals, who played a prominent role in each of the major campaigns; nonetheless, at the time this document was signed, Murat was negotiating with the Allies and eventually agreed to provide troops to fight against France in exchange for a guarantee of his throne and possessions. Ultimately, however, after Waterloo, he was captured by the Allies, executed, and shot. It is said that as he faced the firing squad, he shouted:
“"Soldiers, do your duty! Straight to the heart — but spare the face. Fire!”
“Murat was one of the most colorful figures of his time. His military talents on the battlefield, at the head of the cavalry, were considerable, but his rash initiatives robbed him of any chance of earning repute as a strategist. A vain and rather brainless man, given to devising splendid uniforms, he had many enemies among the marshalate, but was greatly admired by the rank and file for his dash and undoubted charisma …” (Chandler, DICTIONARY OF THE NAPOLEONIC WARS, pp. 294-296).
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