Shannon Selin

About me

Shannon Selin is the author of Napoleon in America (January 2014), which imagines what might have happened if Napoleon Bonaparte had escaped from exile on St. Helena and wound up in the United States in 1821. Her short stories have appeared in The Copperfield Review and CommuterLit. Shannon blogs about Napoleonic and 19th century history at She lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she is working on the next novel in her Napoleon series.

From my website

Louisa Adams, social charmer

Louisa Adams by Charles Bird King, circa 1821-1825Louisa Adams, the English-born wife of US president John Quincy Adams, was indispensable to her husband’s political career. Though not a great beauty, she was literate, a fashionable dresser, and had Continental polish and charm from many years spent in Europe. Most importantly,…

Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon’s American nephew

Jerome Napoleon BonaparteJerome Napoleon Bonaparte was the son of Napoleon’s youngest brother Jérôme and Baltimore socialite Elizabeth (Betsy) Patterson, the subject of last week’s post. As Napoleon had broken up his parents’ marriage before Jerome was even born, Napoleon never acknowledged the boy as a Bonaparte. Despite Betsy’s best efforts…

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, Napoleon’s American sister-in-law

Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte by Gilbert Stuart, 1804Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte wrote in 1815 that “nature never intended me for obscurity.” (1) A belle of Baltimore, Elizabeth became an international celebrity when she married Napoleon’s youngest brother Jérôme. When Napoleon convinced Jérôme to abandon her, Betsy (as she was known) became America’s most…

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