PICTURES: Royal Navy’s Wildcat helicopter on St Helena

One of the Royal Navy’s new Wildcat helicopters flew several sorties over St Helena during commemorations for the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s arrival on the island in 1815. On Wednesday 14 October 2015, it became the first helicopter to land at the islands airport – nearly a month after the arrival of the first aircraft ever […]

The ‘merchant king’ suspected of intrigue with Napoleon

Saul Solomon founded a business empire that has dominated commercial life on St Helena for more than two centuries. He was also suspected of smuggling a silk ladder to Napoleon, to help him escape from exile. Now documents relating to the sale of his properties have been found in Jamestown. The long-lost title deeds of […]

Not for sale: the shirt worn by ailing Bonaparte on St Helena

A French court has stopped the auction of the shirt that was worn by Napoleon just before he fell into his final coma on St Helena, reports The Guardian. The sweat-stained garment was one of a number of souvenirs taken back to France by Achille Thomas Archambault, a former horse-breaker who became a member of the […]

Writer rescues Napoleon: was America ready for him?

What would the Americans made of Napoleon, had he escaped from St Helena and started a new (and longer) life in the young United States? The idea is explored in a debut historical novel by writer Shannon Selin – who’s also published, unusually, a video trailer for her book, Napoleon in America. It sees him […]

Boney’s death mask fetches £170,000 – despite doubts

A “death mask” made from a cast of Napoleon’s face at Longwood has been sold at auction for three times its expected price – despite doubts raised by a writer on St Helena history. Bonhams of London sold it for £169,250 on Wednesday (19 June 2013). Its estimated sale price was only £40-£60,000. Before the […]

Doubts voiced as Napoleon death mask is auctioned

A death mask of Napoleon Bonaparte was due to be auctioned by Bonhams in London on 19 June 2013 with an expected price of £40,000 to £60,000 – but historian John Tyrrell has questioned its authenticity. The Bonhams online catalogue said it was cast for the Rev Richard Boys, senior chaplain on St Helena at […]

Writer says Michel deserves top honour for Napoleon role

Film star Clint Eastwood has one, and so has the singer Bob Dylan; and now a writer on Napoleon says Michel Dancoisne-Martineau, custodian of the emperor’s homes on St Helena, deserves to receive France’s highest honour.   Andrew Roberts makes the tongue-in-cheek nomination in an article for Britain’s Spectator magazine, after visiting the island to […]

Well Andy, if the housing job doesn’t work out…

When he’s at work, Andy Crowe is a housing executive with a strong social conscience – but on his days off, he is The Scourge of all Europe. No one told him that going into exile on St Helena would see him leading a double life as a deposed emperor. It began when he was […]

Napoleon rides down Main Street: St Helena’s Day 2013

The message from the St Helena page on Facebook captured the exuberant spirit of St Helena’s Day 2013. “Whoever you are and what ever you’re doing,” it said, “St Helena loves you. Happy St Helena’s Day everyone!” The words were supposedly those of the island itself, possibly ghost-written by Johnny Clingham, far from home in […]

Carnival catcall echoes round the world

Radio listeners around the world have been regaled with the story of the low-flying aircraft that turned out not to be quite low enough when it led the St Helena Carnival procession down Main Street. Writer Mark Stratton took advantage of the episode to open his piece on the island for the BBC World Service […]