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It was only in 1873 that the first ILN special number appeared. This was an ‘extra’ undated issue which commemorated the death of the Emperor Napoleon III of France. It was titled ‘The Life and Reign of the Emperor Napoleon III’. (Appendix List No. 1)
Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte had come to power in France in the 1848 Revolution, but he proved to be a man of little inspiration or strength of character. He involved France in the Crimean War and towards the end of his reign his lack of judgement gave Bismark the excuse to attack France and begin what was for France the disastrous Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. Captured by the Prussians at Sedan, held prisoner until peace was signed and then deposed, he sought exile in England. He died on January 9th at Camden Place, Chiselhurst, Kent, leaving a widow and an only son aged 17.
The issue has blue wrappers with the 1853 wedding portraits of Napoleon and his wife Eugenie printed in black. It measures 42 x 30cm, has 32 pages, was priced at sixpence and was published during the 3rd week of January. The number concludes its eulogistic survey of the Emperor’s life and reign with a poignant description of his last illness, death and funeral.