..........Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com.........

Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler

Spartan Gold by Clive Cussler and Grant Blackwood
Sam and Remi Fargo are a wealthy couple who can afford to be a treasure hunters. They are exploring the Great Pocomoke Swamp in Maryland when they come up on a German WWII mini-submarine sunken in the mud. They got it up and opened it and found the remains of the poor submarine operator and, with him, was a box with a bottle of wine…a very old bottle of wine, in fact, one of Napoleon Bonaparte's legendary Lost Cellar. The bottles were made using a grape that Napoleon had developed and also had destroyed. The bottles were very thick with little liquid and the labels had strange coded messages on them. There were supposedly a case of 12 taken by Napoleon's closest aide and hidden around Europe. But what were the messages and what did they point to?

Napoleon di Buonaparte was born in Corsica on 8/15/1769 the year before the island was transferred to France and he changed his spelling to Napoleon Bonaparte and went through military training as an artillery officer in France. In 1799, he staged a coup d'etat and installed himself as First Consul; five years later the French Senate proclaimed him Emperor. With the Napoleonic Wars—involving every major European power—France secured a dominant position in continental Europe with a string of victories.

But the French Invasion of Russia in 1812 marked a turning point in his fortunes. His Grande Armee never recovered. In 1813, the Sixth Coalition defeated his forces at Leipzig; the following year the Coalition invaded France, forced Napoleon to abdicate and exiled him to the island of Elba.


They gave him sovereignty over the island and allowed him to retain his title of Emperor. Napoleon attempted suicide with a pill he had carried since a near-capture by Russians on the retreat from Moscow. Its potency had weakened with age and he survived to be exiled, while his wife and son took refuge in Vienna. He was allowed a personal escort of some 1000 men and a household staff. On May 4 1814, Napoleon, now 45 years old, arrived at Elba's capital, Portoferraio. In the first few months on Elba he created a small navy and army, developed the iron mines, and issued decrees on modern agricultural methods. He was under the guard of Austrian and French guards. Less than a year later, he escaped Elba. Late one night he stole off with about 1200 troops aboard a hired frigate and returned to power. He was defeated by the British at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.

Jamestown on St. Helena Island

The house Napoleon lived in when he died.

Napoleon died in his 2nd exile on St. Helena's Island in the Atlantic Ocean on 5/5/1821 in his early 50's while being under the supervision of the British. He supposedly died of stomach cancer but in modern times it's been found that he died of arsenic poisoning whether accidentally or murder by poison.

When Napoleon died on St. Helena Island

Josephine de Beauharnais Bonapart, Empress

Napoleon married Joséphine de Beauharnais in 1796, when he was twenty-six; she was a thirty-two-year-old widow whose first husband had been executed during the French Revolution. Joséphine de Beauharnais' (23 June 1763 – 29 May 1814) first husband was Alexandre de Beauharnais. They had been imprisoned in the Carmes prison during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror. He was guillotined just 5 days beforel her release.

After Napoleon divorced her, Joséphine lived at the Chateau de Malmaison, near Paris. She remained on good terms with Napoléon. Joséphine died of pneumonia in Rueil-Malmaison, four days after catching cold during a walk with the Russian Czar Alexander in the gardens of Malmaison. She and Alexandre had a son, Eugene, and a daughter, Hortense. Napoleon formally adopted Eugène and cousin, Stéphanie, and arranged dynastic marriages for them. Joséphine had her daughter Hortense marry Napoleon's brother, Louis. Bonaparte often sent her love letters while on his campaigns but Joséphine had lovers, including a Hussar lieutenant, Hippolyte Charles, during Napoleon's Italian campaign. Napoleon learned about the affair with Charles while in Egypt, and a letter he wrote to his brother Joseph was intercepted by the British. The letter appeared in the London and Paris newspapers which embarrassed him. But Napoleon had his own affairs too: during the Egyptian campaign he took Pauline Bellisle Foures, the wife of a junior officer, as his mistress. While Napoleon's mistresses had children by him, Joséphine did not produce an heir, possibly because of either the stresses of her imprisonment during the Terror or an abortion she may have had in her twenties. Napoleon ultimately chose divorce so he could remarry in search of an heir

Marie-Louise of Austria, Napoleon's 2nd wife and mother of his only legal child.

In March 1810, he married Marie Louise, Archduchess of Austria, and a great niece of Marie Antoinette; thus he had married into a German royal and imperial family. She did not join him in exile on Elba and so, never saw her husband again. The couple had one child, Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles (1811–1832), Napoleon's only legal son.

Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles

He became Napoleon II in 1814 and reigned for only two weeks. He was awarded the title of the Duke of Reichstadt in 1818 and died of tuberculosis aged 21, with no children. Napoleon acknowledged two illegitimate children: Charles, Count Léon, (1806–81) by Louise Catherine Eléonore Denuelle de la Plaigne and Alexandre Joseph Colonna, Count Walewski, (1810-68) by Countess Walewski. He may have had further illegitimate offspring: Emilie Pellapra, (1806-71) by Françoise-Marie LeRoy; Karl Eugin von Mühlfeld, by Victoria Kraus; Hélène Napoleone Bonaparte by Countess Albine de Montholon and Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire whose mother remains unknown.

Marie Louise, with her son Francois, left Paris and returned to Vienna. Her family gave her the rulership of the Duchy of Parma in Italy, where she went to live in 1816. Marie Louise supposedly had a gentle, loving nature and was popular with her subjects. She loved flowers, and in particular the shy wild violet. She felt it was like her in nature. She used the violet in her signature and often wrote letters in violet ink. She had violets sent from Austria and planted them in the gardens of her new home. She did eventually find happiness again, with her grand chamberlain, the Count of Bombelles.

For a look a good photos of the death mask of Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon I, go to

For a look at good photos of the death mask of Napoleon II, Duke of Reichstardt, go to

At the same time, Hadeon Bondaruk, a half-Russian and half-Persian millionaire is also searching for the bottles. He has to have it and no one will stop him. Except for Sam and Remi! This is another fast paced, thrill ride for Cussler fans. I thoroughly enjoyed it and liked Sam and Remi, Cussler's newest heroes. How will they evade Bondaruk's men and find the bottles. And when they find the bottles, how do they figure out the codes and riddles to find the next bottle. And what do the bottles point to? Why did Napoleon and his aide, Laurent, go to so much trouble to hide these bottles? Why weren't all 12 bottles hidden in different places (in the end the last of the bottles are found by Sam and Remi all together as though Cussler got tired of going after them, my only criticism)?

I recommend this book to anyone! I love learning something too while on a good read!

No comments:

My Most Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

Contact Me

To contact me, email me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com