The original document, which enabled las Cases to publish the Saint Helena Memorial with the success that we know, had disappeared. An editorial and cultural event.
Emmanuel de Las Cases accompanied Napoleon in his exile in 1815, but had to leave him sixteen months later. It was not until 1823 that his Memorial appeared, which has become the bible of those nostalgic for the Empire, based on his conversations with the Emperor, real or supposed, because it quickly became clear that this document was sometimes too good to be. completly true. To judge, it would have been necessary to have the original manuscript, written in Saint Helena almost under the dictation of Napoleon. But the English had confiscated it by expelling Las Cases. The four historians who publish it today found it recently in the British Library, where it had been sleeping incognito for two centuries. This editorial adventure sheds precious and often unexpected light on what Napoleon really said, and which Las Cases enriched and embellished. Thus the voice of the Emperor becomes closer and more authentic.
Memorial of Saint Helena. The found manuscript, by Emmanuel de Las Cases. Editions Perrin, October 2017.