Shrewsbury School

From the School Archive

Friday 16 November 2018

Another gem from our vast archive: Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother borrowed a book from the Ancient Library in 1812...!

The Ancient (Taylor) Library Borrowing Book records that in 1812 Lucien Bonaparte borrowed a large Volume of the Works of Pindar, the ancient Greek lyric poet from Thebes.

Lucien Bonaparte was Napoleon’s most articulate brother and, unlike the others, unwilling to subordinate himself to Napoleon. He had decidedly revolutionary ideas which led to friction with Napoleon.

He served as the final President of the ‘Council of Five Hundred’ at the end of the French Revolution. He was politically very ambitious and played a vital part in Napoleon’s rise to power.

He spent most of the imperial years in exile with his large family, nursing his literary vanity.

The question remains why he borrowed this book from the Shrewsbury School Library. Answers on a post card!

Robin Brooke-Smith
Taylor Librarian and Archivist

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