Photo: Arenenberg, View from

The view from Arenenberg, Switzerland. In the background you see the Bodensee (Lake Constance). I took this picture some weeks ago, on my second trip to Arenenberg. It’s a huge favourite of mine, although Napoleon himself was never there of course. Hortense moved into exile in Switzerland, and it was here that Napoleon III grew up. Later as emperor he bought the house back and restored it in the fashion of his childhood.

The museum shop offers a whole line of unrelated junk, but to my surprise they also had a little book sale, including several rare editions of first hand memoirs of the Napoleonic era. I had to summon all my self restraint not to purchase the whole lot. I can’t bear the thought of those books falling in the wrong hands, even if they were wildly overpriced.