Emperor's Assassin (2003)
Book Two of Memoirs of a Bow Street Runner
published by Dell Books
It isn't widely known today that the British government had no right in law to exile Napoleon to St Helena. British law stated that no man could be incarcerated without a proper trial, but Napoleon was given no trial (he had, by British law, committed no crime). He was not a prisoner of war, as he had put himself into British hands after the war was over. The British claimed Bonaparte had no right to British law because he was not in England (he was on a ship in Plymouth Harbour) and was therefore under the law of Admiralty. If Napoleon could have crossed the half mile of water to the beach on Plymouth Sound, the English would have been forced to recognize their own laws and let the man go free.
Our story begins when Henry Morton is called to view the body of a woman who appears to have died of a fall. As Morton soon learns, she was a French national living in England. And two days later her lover, the Comte d'Auvraye, a prominent French Royalist, is murdered as well.
Morton is drawn into the world of the French expatriates, both Royalist and Bonapartist, and uncovers a plot to free Napoleon from HMS Bellerophon, and a counterplot by the French Royalists.
Ian Dennis is a novelist and a noted Romantics authority. He wrote a well-received book on Sir Walter Scott and is at work on another about Lord Byron.
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