Napoleon Translations

Title of Translation

Bonaparte Did Not Die of Cancer

Title of Original Work

Bonaparte n’est pas mort d’un cancer

Author(s) of Translation

Stacey Bear
Kelly Doyle

Document Type


Date of Translation Publication


Original Work Publication Date

January 1821

Translator's Note

An anonymous author wrote the text, “Bonaparte Did Not Die of Cancer” in 1821. This text was published during King Louis XVIII’s reign from 1814 to 1824; a regime that was not favorable toward Napoleon’s supporters. However, the author takes a controversial stance and claims that Napoleon did not die of cancer on May 5, 1821, as was his officially stated cause of death, but was poisoned. The author goes into great detail of the anatomical evidence, which according to him supports his theory that Napoleon was in fact poisoned. While a modern reader might find the text to be filled with propaganda and perhaps even exaggerations, it is possible that at the time this would have been seen as medically true and reliable. We hope that the text is read within the context of its era, rather than anachronistically, and have attempted to maintain the author’s original meanings in our translation.