On St. Helena, Napoleon spent much of his remaining years dictating to friends his version of the events that occurred during his lifetime. He died on May 5, 1821, of a stomach ulcer that was probably cancerous. Most historians label as inaccurate a theory that he died of arsenic poisoning. Napoleon was buried on the island. In his will, Napoleon had asked to be buried "on the banks of the Seine, among the French people I have loved so much." In 1840, the British and French governments had his remains brought to Paris. There, at the Eglise du Dome (Church of the Dome), which is part of the Hotel des Invalides (Home for Disabled Soldiers), the body of Napoleon was laid to rest.
Napoleon's place in history
Napoleon is both a historical figure and a legend -- and it is sometimes difficult to separate the two. The events of his life have fired the imaginations of great writers, filmmakers, and playwrights whose works have done much to create the Napoleonic legend.
Napoleon was one of the greatest military commanders in history. But he has also been portrayed as a power-hungry conqueror. He denied being such a conqueror. He argued that he had tried to build a federation of free peoples in a Europe united under a liberal government. He did intend, though, to achieve this goal by concentrating power in his own hands. However, in the states he created, Napoleon granted constitutions, introduced law codes, abolished feudalism, created efficient governments, and fostered education, science, literature, and the arts.
SOURCE: IBM 1999 WORLD BOOK
Contributor: Owen Connelly, Ph.D., Author, Napoleon's Satellite Kingdoms and Blundering to Glory: The Military Campaigns of Napoleon.
Carroll, Bob. Napoleon Bonaparte. Lucent Bks., 1994.
Masters, Anthony. Napoleon. McGraw, 1981.
Sauvain, Philip. Waterloo. Macmillan, 1993.
Connelly, Owen. Blundering to Glory: Napoleon's Military Campaigns. 1987. Reprint. Scholarly, 1990.
Haythornthwaite, Philip J. The Napoleonic Source Book. Facts on File, 1991.
Marrin, Albert. Napoleon and the Napoleonic Wars. Viking, 1991.
Riehn, Richard K. 1812: Napoleon's Russian Campaign. McGraw, 1990.
Schom, Alan. One Hundred Days: Napoleon's Road to Waterloo. Oxford, 1993.
Thompson, James M. Napoleon Bonaparte. 1952. Reprint. Basil Blackwell, 1988. A standard biography.