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Broadside entitled 'Death of Bonaparte'


This report begins: 'Official acconnt of the Death of Bonaparte, who departed this life on Saturday the 5th day of May last, in the Isle of St. Helena with a particular account of the Causes of his Death. Taken from this Morning's London Paper.' Although no publication date has been included, this broadside was most likely printed the same year as Bonaparte's demise - 1821.

The National Library of Scotland's broadside collection includes numerous reports and accounts written during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815). Of particular interest are the many different angles that were adopted by broadside producers: from Nelson's heroic and successful, but ultimately tragic, stand at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), to ballads detailing the emotions felt by those mothers, lovers and daughters left at home.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable date published: 1821   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(059)
Broadside entitled 'Death of Bonaparte'
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