ROYAL READING – It was March 30, 217 years ago, when Emperor Napoleon I offered the throne of Naples to Joseph Bonaparte. An opportunity to recall the biography of the emperor’s older brother by Thierry Lentz.
He was the big brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. Very close to his younger brother, Joseph received the throne of Naples from him – on 30 March 1806 – before ascending to the throne of Spain, which he occupied from 6 May 1808 to 11 December 1811.
But the eldest child of Charles and Letizia Bonaparte already played a significant political role during the French Revolution. Then after a hundred days – where he was notably the emperor’s lieutenant general during the French campaign – he decided to go into exile in the United States. He lived there for almost 25 years and remained a very prominent figure across the Atlantic. Especially since he was first a sort of moral regent for his nephew the King of Rome – the only child of Napoleon I – before becoming a claimant to the throne after his death in 1832.
Joseph rests in the Invalides without his younger brother’s law
Joseph Bonaparte died in Florence in 1844 and since 1862 has been buried near his famous younger brother under the dome of the Invalides. In 2016, the director of the Fondation Napoléon, Thierry Lentz, published a new biography concerning him with Editions Perrin, after noting that it had not been done again for several decades. Three years later, a paperback version was published in the Tempus collection (896 pages, on sale for 13 euros). Indispensable for those who want to get to know this important member of the Bonaparte clan better.