On May 5, 1821, Napoleon Bonaparte died in this room in exile on St Helena Island.
Two years ago, on May 5, 2011, I was in Cape Town, South Africa, on my way to St Helena to do research for my novel.
To commemorate the anniversary of the Emperor’s death, my husband and I visited Groot Constantia, the still-operational vineyard that supplied the Emperor’s wine during his exile. This evening we’ll drink a toast with some of his favorite Grand Constance wine that we brought back to the United States with us.
The Emperor has been dead for 192 years, yet he has been a constant companion to me as I write my novel from his point of view. So, today, a part of me mourns his death while another part of me says Come on. Really?
If you’re not a writer, if you don’t cry over sad books, if you’re not a Napoleon enthusiast, that may sound odd to you. Chalk it up to the wonders of human imagination.