This month we’re talking about the research behind A Countess Most Daring. Last week we talked about Napoleon and where he was in June 1815 (getting beaten at Waterloo), so this week I’d thought we’d take a look at the main force in Italy at the time: Murat.
Who’s This Murat Guy?
Murat is the very reason why people say don’t do business with family. Murat was married to Napoleon’s younger sister, Caroline, and Napoleon gave him a lot of fanciful titles, like the “First Horseman of Europe.” (No, I have no idea what that means.) Another title he was given was King of Naples. As with any man in power during this era, Murat betrayed Napoleon a lot, and he did so in May of 1815. In A Countess Most Daring, the action in the story largely takes place between May and June 1815, and the catalyst for getting them out of Naples was rumors of an attack from the north. The attack in question was one of Murat’s attempts at securing his own position no matter what it meant to Nappie. In the Battle of Tolentino in May 1815, Murat went up against Austria to save his own place as King of Naples when he heard Nappie’s comeback attempt was not going so well. It was this rumored battle that drove Thatcher to make the deal he did.