Kat LeMaster
Kat LeMaster asked Lauren Willig:

After starting the Pink Carnation series, I have been reading a lot of historical non-fiction taking place during and post French Revolution. In modern day, most of us know Napoleon Bonaparte simply as Napoleon. I have noticed that you, along with other writers (including Emma Orczy) refer to him as Bonaparte. Was he known just as Bonaparte in the 19th century and over time became commonly known as Napoleon?

Lauren Willig We know him as Napoleon because, in 1804, he crowned himself Napoleon I, Emperor of the French. So we modern folks think of him as Napoleon, the same way we would think of any monarch by his or her first name. But for most of his earlier career, he was General Bonaparte. (Or Buonaparte, to give the name the Corsican spelling before he gallicized it.) His enemies, in particular, would have continued to think of him as "Bonaparte", not crediting him with his self-styled title. Continuing to call him Bonaparte, or "Boney", was partly habit, but also a way of keeping him in his place.

As an extra wrinkle on the Bonaparte front, his wife, Josephine, always made a point of calling him "Bonaparte" at home, an aristocratic affectation (the upper classes tended to refer to each other familiarly by last name, or title, rather than given names). So he would have been "Napoleon" to his siblings and mother, but "Bonaparte" to his wife.

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