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

Drinking cold water & other 19th century causes of death

Death’s Dispensary, cartoon by George Pinwell in FUN Magazine, August 18, 1866 Given the rudimentary nature of medical care in the early 19th century, Napoleon is probably right when he complains to Dr. Formento in Napoleon in America that “you kill more men than you save.” Disease was thought to…

Celebrating with Light: Illuminations and Transparencies

When the inhabitants of New Orleans hold a banquet in Napoleon’s honour in Napoleon in America, the site of the festivities is decorated with coloured lamps and transparencies. Illuminations, in the form of fireworks, bonfires and lanterns, had been part of public celebrations in France since at least the reign of Louis…

When Napoleon met Goethe

Napoleon’s meeting with Goethe at Erfurt. Photogravure from a painting by Eugène Ernest Hillemacher In 1808, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte met Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the greatest German literary figure of the modern era. Each man admired the other, although Napoleon’s motives were not solely to greet the author of one of…

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