An illuminating letter written by Napoleon Bonaparte in English has fetched EUR 325,000 ($405,000) at a Paris auction.
The single-page sheet auctioned off on Sunday was one of three such English-language letters by Napoleon known to the world.
The letter addressed to the Count Las Cases, his English teacher, was written in March 1816 while Napoleon was exiled to the South Atlantic island of Saint Helena after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, reports said.
The letter is filled with errors and misspellings, and some of the sentences are hard to understand, suggesting that the French monarch was struggling with the English language.
Napoleon started by writing: "It is 2 o'clock after midnight, I have enough sleep," misspelling enough as "enow." He seemed to have been aware of his poor English, and asked his teacher in the letter to correct his errors. In the last part, he revealed that it took him two hours to write the short note.
Napoleon famously dismissed England, but the letter shows he earnestly tried to acquire the country's language. The President of the auction house says Napoleon really had a great admiration for England, its rules and history.
by RTT Staff Writer
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