Shannon Selin

About me

Shannon Selin is the author of Napoleon in America (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 alternate history series.

From my website

John Quincy Adams’ Report Upon Weights and Measures

John Quincy Adams by Gilbert Stuart, 1818 John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States, liked to measure things – the width of a river, the distance between two points – by counting his steps. “I have found, by experiments frequently repeated, that my ordinary pace is two feet…

The Girl with Napoleon in her Eyes

Bust of Napoleon, after a model by Antonio Canova, circa 1808-1814. Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Roger Prigent, 2015 In the years after Napoleon Bonaparte’s 1815 defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, London hosted numerous exhibits related to the fallen French Emperor. Napoleon’s carriage was displayed, his battles…

Some 19th-Century Packing Tips

Do you make a packing list before a trip? Do you take a couple of small suitcases, or one large one? Do you fold or roll your clothes, or just shove them in? If you were wealthy in the 19th century, these were things you didn’t have to worry about,…

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