Monday, January 24, 2011
Violets for Napoleon
Corporal violet.1815 colour print by Jean-Dominique Etienne Canu, titled Le Secret du Caporal La Violette. Here is the face of Napoleon, his wife and son, are you able to discover them?Image from http://www.naute.com
Napoleon adopted the violet as his emblem, and he was known affectionately as "Corporal Violet". When he was banished to Elba he promised to " return with the violets". Byron wrote of Napoleon's taking leave of his adopted country,
Farewell to thee, France! but when
Once more in thy regions, remember me
The violet grows in the depths of thy
Though withered, thy tears will unfold it again.
Napoleon with the violet as emblem. From google images
This Bonapartist emblem was worn on rings and watchchains, and as a buttonhole, even while "the flowers spoke words too dangerous to say."
Green Magic. By Lesley Gordon. P. 154