THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD

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Napoleonic bicorne (page 117)

Napoleon Bonaparte rose through the military ranks in France, and eventually became the Emperor of France in 1804. During his reign, he led a successful campaign in which he conquered most of Europe. He is known for his suave personality, military success, and for re-shaping the European continent.

Part of being a military commander is the presence of the person. One of the staples of French military officers’ wardrobe was their hat. It is now more widely known as the Napoleonic bicorne, first being worn by Napoleon himself. It was a descendent of the tricorne originally worn by the British. Its use was readily adopted by other European and American armies. In addition to establishing military status, the bicrone protected the wearer's head, and shielded their eyes from the sun. Furthermore, it had loops to hold mirrors and combs for their uniform and hair.

Napoleon in his bicornePicture of a Napoleonic bicorne

In the novel The Kingdom of This World, the Napoleonic bicorne is mentioned in the description of King Henri Christophe. At this point in the novel he was the current ruler of Haiti. The bicorne that he is wearing is to help show his power, as the hats were worn by those in charge.

In addition, it also shows that, as King, he had adopted the European style not only in his dress, but also in the works of art he collected for his palace, the dress for his women, the music that was played, and the great Citadel he was building.

For further information, and more images, go to:

http://www.by-the-sword.com/acatalog/Napoleonic_Bicorn_Hat_HC-1980.html

http://www.napolun.com/mirror/napoleonistyka.atspace.com/napoleonic_uniforms.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/bonaparte_napoleon.shtml



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Haiti
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