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

The New Orleans Riot of 1817

New Orleans, where Napoleon lands in Napoleon in America, was an accommodating place for his supporters in the years after 1815. French speakers constituted about three-quarters of the city’s population of some 27,000. Many of the French and Creole inhabitants were sympathetic to Napoleon. They disliked England, their opponent in the…

The Josephine Delusion: A woman who thought she was Napoleon’s wife

The “Napoleon delusion,” a form of mental illness in which a person believes he is Napoleon Bonaparte, has long been a popular stereotype, as depicted in the short film Maniac Chase (1904), among others. “Delusions of grandeur” accounted for more than 25 percent of diagnoses of insanity in France in…

Of Sealing Wax and Emperor Francis

Quodlibet (Letter Rack) by Cornelius Norbertus Gysbrechts, 1675, shows letters marked with sealing wax ‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said, ‘To talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax, Of cabbages and kings.’ (1) One king, or rather an emperor, Francis I of Austria (the father of Napoleon’s…

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