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Lucien Bonaparte
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Royalty
    (May 21, 1775-June 29, 1840)
    Born in Ajaccio, Corsica, France
    Younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte
    Minister of the Interior (1799-1800)
    Ambassador to Spain (1800-02)
    Went into internal exile in Rome (1804-10)
    Attempted to sail to the United States but was captured by the British (1810)
    Lived in England (1810-14)
    Returned to Rome and was named Prince of Canino by Pope Pius VII (1814)
    Named Prince of Musignano by Pope Leo XII (1824)
    The Duchess of Abrantes described him as ‘ill-shaped, having limbs like the field spider’s and a small head.’
    He was an ally of Maximilien Robespierre during the Reign of Terror.
    He was elected a French deputy despite being below the minimum age required by the constitution (1798).
    As Minister of the Interior, he rigged a plebiscite to formally endorse Napoleon’s assumption of power.
    He secretly wrote a subversive pamphlet comparing Napoleon to Julius Caesar.
    After the Battle of Waterloo, he unsuccessfully tried to convince the Chamber of Deputies to name Napoleon’s four-year-old son as monarch, with hopes of serving as regent and effectively ruling the country.
    As ambassador to Spain, he convinced that country to ally with France and to return the Louisiana Territory to France.
    He disliked Napoleon’s imperial pretensions.
    He refused to divorce his wife when Napoleon wanted him to marry a Spanish princess to further the alliance between the countries.
    He said, ‘When we marry, we are to consult our own happiness and not that of another. It matters not who is or is not to be displeased.’
    He was an amateur archaeologist, who excavated on one of his properties the Tusculum bust of Julius Caesar, believed to be the only surviving sculpture of Caesar made during his lifetime.

Credit: C. Fishel


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