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The background to this unhappy event was the Zulu War. The latter half of the 19th century saw European powers eager to grab African territory to further their trading areas (the so-called Scramble for Africa). The British and the Dutch fought over the south and, in so doing, the British confronted the Zulu people of the Bantu tribes. Headline news of the day records the British defeat at Isandhlwana and the heroic defence at Rorke’s Drift. However, the one event which so caught the public imagination that the ILN brought out a special number, was the death during the war of Napoleon Eugene Louis, Prince Imperial of France and only son of the late Napoleon III. His death occurred on June 1st during an insignificant engagement at Italezi, to the east of the Blood River on the frontier of the Transvaal territory bordering Zululand. He was only 23 years of age. The magazine with the title
‘The Late Prince Imperial’

(Appendix List No. 10) covers his life, death and funeral at Chiselhurst and is dated July 16th, 1879. The blue cover shows a sailor standing vigil over the royal coffin on the deck of HMS Orontes as the body was brought from South Africa to England. The issue contains 32 pages, measures 42 x 30 and cost one shilling. next page >>

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