The Battle of Waterloo has been fought and won. Napoleon has been exiled to St Helena, left by the British to spend the rest of his days rotting away in obscurity. But many still worship him as a God amongst men, and are desperate to see him free to rule and fight for them once again.
Samson Armstrong, an out-of-work ship’s captain, unwittingly stumbles on a plot to spring Napoleon from his imprisonment. Armstrong had been at sea during the Napoleonic Wars, commanding the ‘Tamarind’ for the East India Company. But with the war over, and Napoleon defeated, he has been sacked, like so many others, to scrape any living that he can.
Now, he once again finds himself caught up in the skirmish, as he overhears Napoleon’s favourite assassin, the spy Ledru, cementing plans to rescue the exiled emperor, with a rag-tag band of ex-Army men – and the latest American invention, the submarine. They will go to any lengths to free the people’s ‘hero’ and revive the battle against British rule.
Amongst those who have turned their back on the English government is Lord Cochrane, the once-famous frigate captain known as the ‘Sea Wolf.’ With impassioned speeches, and the promise of a hefty reward, Samson is persuaded to captain the ‘Tamarind’ for their cause.
Meanwhile on the island, Napoleon has made himself dangerous enemies: the British governor in charge of him who despises his arrogant attitude, and a spurned mistress who has borne his child. Her new lover is the ex-dictator’s personal physician – and he is experimenting with arsenic...
As the ship and the submarines near their destination the walls close in on Napoleon. Will Samson and the motley crew arrive to rescue him in time? What really happened on the island of St Helena? Did Napoleon die... or did he escape?
‘Napoleon: The Escape’ is a thrilling naval adventure story, combining fact and fiction to create one possible outcome for the many rumours which have surrounded Napoleon’s death.
Author: Jan Needle
Title: Napoleon: The Escape
First Published by: Endeavour Press
Date: 25 May 2015