The Allure of the Occult: The Bonapartes and the Sibyl of Saint-Germain

James Illingworth

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The collection of Napoleonic paintings at the Bowes Museum includes a portrait of Marie-Anne Lenormand, a mystic and cartomancer famous for reading the palms of Joséphine and Napoleon Bonaparte. Using this famous connection to her own advantage, after Napoleon's exile in 1815 Lenormand produced a series of memoirs reflecting on her experiences of the Bonapartes and their contemporaries. This paper explores Lenormand's life and legacy, reflecting on the allure of occultism in a century of revolution and upheaval, and considers also the question of celebrity in nineteenth-century France.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Allure of Napoleon
    Subtitle of host publicationEssays Inspired by the Collections of the Bowes Museum
    EditorsTom Stammers
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


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