From 1815, the year of his defeat at Waterloo, to 1821, the year of his death, Napoleon was exiled, a prisoner of the British on the island of St. Helena. Although Napoleon was free to move about the island, as his time in the tropics wore on, he ...
increasingly chose seclusion. Napoleon tried to survive on a diet of memories, which he recounted to the few people left around him. But, as Jean-Paul Kauffmann discovered, Napoleon had been poisoned -- by nostalgia for his days of glory and grief for the past. Part travelogue, part history, The Black Room at Longwood is informed by a grimly personal element -- the author's own three-year captivity as a hostage in Beirut.