Δ

 

blank
history Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Island History

Read about the history of our island

The Universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
Muriel Rukeyser, in ‘The Speed of Darkness’ (1968)

blank

This is a subset of our Island Detail pages which covers items of St Helena’s history.

Napoleon said It must be recognized that the real truths of history are hard to discover. Well, we’ve done our best, but if there is something about St Helena’s history that we have not covered please contact us and we’ll try to add it in.

Jamestown by Melliss 1857 Saint Helena Island Info Island History
{a}

To read more about the people behind our island’s histories, and download some of the documents, see our Historians of St Helena page.

Image infoindeximage_thumb100x100.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Information Index
Start here…

Image dukeofconnaughtsarrival1910_thumb298x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Island History
Read about the history of our island

Image subjectindeximage_thumb100x78.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Subject Index
These are the pages you are searching for

Image celebratingvictoriajubilee_thumb287x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Historic Picture Gallery
Thumbnails that can be expanded to full size images

Image formershflag_thumb400x200.gif Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Historic Images Slide Show
Automated historic image show in random sequence

Image sunsetjamesbaywportzic_thumb620x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Today’s Images
Look at what we feature

Image imagesearchimage_thumb200x139.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Image Search
Find images on our site

Image foswelljoneslowermarketstreet_thumb590x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Artists
Recording images of St Helena

Image betsybalcombe_thumb315x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Betsy Balcombe
Napoleon’s Friend

Image bluebookimage_thumb300x527.gif Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The ‘Blue Book’
The Annual Colonial Report

Image boersonparade_thumb535x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Boer Prisoners (1900-1902)
Home-from-home? Not really…

Image briarspavilionimage_thumb356x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The Briars Pavilion
Napoleon’s Other House

Image briefhistoryimage_thumb400x291.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

A Brief History
How we got to here

Image buildingsthelenaairportimage_thumb480x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Building St Helena Airport
Built and operating

Image castleentrance_thumb417x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The Castle
The most important of the Public Buildings

Image charactersimage_thumb168x180.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Characters of St Helena
Eccentric? Colourful? Mad? You decide…

Image chronologyimage_thumb100x100.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Chronology
Search our events database

Image churchesimage_thumb100x32.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Churches of St Helena
And other religious buildings

Image cinemaimage_thumb100x156.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Cinema
Let’s go to a movie

Image orteliusworldpap1570_thumb300x204.gif Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Comparative History
Here and there

Image titbitslaw_thumb100x150.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Dark Tourism
Visiting the darker parts of our history.

Image lostshipportzicsinking2_thumb100x67.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Deliberately Sunken Ships
Sent to the bottom

Image dwsimage.gif Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Diplomatic Wireless Station
Or was it spying?

Image erikbrownwirebird20140818_thumb660x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Discovery of St Helena
It’s not that simple

Image famousvisitorsdoeplayground_thumb352x180.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Duke of Edinburgh Playground
For Kids; For Everyone

Image eicflag1685_thumb100x87.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The East India Company
John, to it’s friends

Image educationimage_thumb100x88.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Education
The Three ‘R’s

Image escapeimage.gif Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Escape!
The ones that got away

Image exilesimage.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Exiles
Not all our visitors wanted to be here!

Image familyandfriendsimage_thumb100x50.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Family And Friends
How to find people on St Helena

Image unionflagatsignalhouse_thumb247x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Famous Visitors
Let’s drop a few names

Image linschotenprint1596_thumb270x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The First Battle For St Helena?
Well, maybe…

Image industriesemperorbrandtuna_thumb200x169.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Fish Processing
Exploiting our only natural resource

Image flaxdrying_thumb603x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The Flax Industry
Economic lifeline or ecological disaster?

Image buttermilkpointbattery_thumb125x100.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Forts and Batteries
Defensive military installations

Image briefhistorymemorialfountainjamestown_thumb298x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The Missing Fountain Mystery
Where did it go?

Image friendlysocswmca01_thumb400x604.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The Friendly Societies
Lending a hand

Image geologyofsthelena_thumb380x320.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Geology of St Helena
Upon this rock…

Image ghoststoriesimage_thumb100x100.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Ghost Stories of St Helena
Don’t look round, but…

Image governmentcouncilchamber2018_shg_thumb400x266.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Government
For the people, by the people?

Image governorshflag_thumb400x200.gif Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The Governor of St Helena
The one at the top?

Image governorshathollamby.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The Governor’s Hat
If you want to get ahead…

Image greatwoodwallimage_thumb533x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The Great Wood Wall
Too little, too late

Image gunswharfeve_thumb634x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Guns
Old and older

Image herimage_thumb100x33.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The Historic Environment Record
A catalogue…

Image marclavaudpic2_thumb601x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

High Knoll Fort
Important, in the past and today

Image historiansimage_thumb100x152.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Historians of St Helena
Recording our past

Image oldcustomsshed_thumb600x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Historic Buildings
A standing reminder

Image thearchjamestown_thumb478x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Historic Buildings In Brief - Jamestown
A sample

Image bertrandscottagerecent_thumb347x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Historic Buildings In Brief - Country
A sample

Image importantpeopleimage_thumb100x100.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Important People
They made their mark

Image industriesimage.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Industries
It’s the economy, stupid

Image famviskinggeorgevimeetjonathan_thumb260x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

In This Week
This Week, in history

Image invasionimage.gif Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Invasion!
The only time St Helena has been captured

Image lacemakingimage_thumb200x168.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Lace Making
Over 100 years of history

Image longwoodnewhousewrsmith1823_thumb646x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Lost and almost-lost Buildings
‘In need of some work…’

Image briefhistoryrfadarkdale_thumb314x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Lost Ships
Our seabed is littered with wrecks

Image maldivia2016_thumb612x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Maldivia Gardens
Fruit, flowers and much more…formerly

Image mapboerpow1902_thumb150x109.gif Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Maps of St Helena
Finding your way around

Image donkeysnickthorpe_thumb324x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Memories of St Helena
‘Well, back in the day…’

Image mythsimage_thumb100x75.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Myths Debunked!
Everybody knows that…

Image napoleonimage_thumb100x100.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Napoleon
His imprisonment, his death, and some things you maybe don’t know about him

Image napoleonicbicentenarylogo_thumb400x271.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Napoleonic Bicentenary
A reason to celebrate…

Image napoleonstombsignpost_thumb356x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Napoleon’s Tomb
But not his final resting place

Image observatoryladderhill_thumb484x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Observatories
Monitoring and measuring

Image crown150anniv01_peterneaum_thumb626x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

On This Day
Today, in history

Image signalstationprosperousbay_thumb402x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Other Military Sites
…and related places

Image postcardsimage_thumb322x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Postcards of St Helena
Old…and older

Image quincentennarylogo_thumb300x211.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Quincentenary of St Helena
‘Looking Up - Looking Forward’

Image radioimage_thumb100x100.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Radio on St Helena
A surprisingly large number of stations

Image radiosthelenalogo.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Radio St Helena
The voice of the island for 45 years

Image railwaymap_thumb100x74.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Our (Other) Railway
Useful; not quite as famous

Image regimentimage_thumb100x308.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

The St Helena Regiment
‘The Old Saints’

Image rmsoldandnewcardiff1990_thumb448x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

RMS St Helena
Two remarkable ships: 1978-2018

Image descendingtrafficgivesway_thumb100x46.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Roads
Take me home…

Image therollersof1846_thumb665x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Rollers
Rough Seas

Image saintfm2004to2012logo_thumb100x59.png Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Saint FM (2004-2012)
The Heartbeat of St Helena

Image sthelenaandthecross.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Saint Helena
She gave our island her name

Image saintsimage_thumb300x322.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Saints
Maybe it’s a state of mind?

Image wranghamsdec2016_neilfantom_thumb300x200.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Saved Buildings
Almost lost; now restored

Image slavesimage.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Slaves and slavery
Part of what makes us what we are

Image astronomyfarmlodgestars_thumb272x180.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Exploring Space
To the stars and beyond

Image stjameschurch_thumb600x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

St. James’ Church
The oldest Anglican church in the Southern Hemisphere

Image stpaulscathedralimage_thumb600x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

St. Paul’s Cathedral
Important, but with humble beginnings

Image surnamesimage.gif Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Origins of island surnames
How islanders got their family names

Image theatreimage_thumb100x66.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Theatres
All the world’s a stage

Image timeimage.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Time
Everything on St Helena starts 20 minutes late

Image tidbitsimage_thumb100x67.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Titbits from the records
To amuse and inform

Image twosthelenasimage_thumb100x34.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Two St Helenas?
Our mythical sister island

Image protestmarchjamestown_thumb250x152.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Unrest and Rebellion
We’re not gonna take it!

Image portuguesemap1601_thumb400x270.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

A Very Brief History
The most important bits

Image whalemenwithpots_thumb610x400.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Whaling
‘Thar she blows!’

Image whiteantsimage_thumb100x67.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

White Ants
A pest by any other name…

Image zzyzximage_thumb100x100.jpg Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Zzyzx
Anything that didn’t fit in elsewhere

If what you’re looking for isn’t in this index, please consult our Information Index page (the master index) or use the Page Search facility (below).

For the historically minded few places can have quite such an attraction as this small Island.
Geoffrey Kitching

Sunset over James’ Bay Saint Helena Island Info Island History
Sunset over James’ Bay

Read More

More stories on our page Read articles about St Helena.
For a chronological summary of our island’s history please see our A Brief History page.

Article: Napoleon skewered in new British exhibition

Published on The Local (FR) 5th February 2015{1}

A colourful new exhibition about French emperor Napoleon is opening in London on Thursday, showing how artists and cartoonists shaped the way the British perceived ‘The Little Corporal’.

‘The Corsican spider in his web’ by Thomas Rowlandson 1808 Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Published in 1808, ‘The Corsican spider in his web’ by Thomas Rowlandson is one of dozens of drawings, posters and other prints on display at London’s British Museum until August 16th.

The exhibition, ‘Bonaparte and the British: prints and propaganda in the age of Napoleon’ charts the rise of the young general, ending with the downfall of the Emperor who once had Europe at his feet.

Napoleon, who lived from 1769 to 1821, was a charismatic enemy with a reputation as a short, angry man: an irresistible subject for caricatures, according to historian Tim Clayton, a Napoleon expert.

He had the misfortune to come along at exactly the wrong moment, Clayton said.

I don’t suppose anybody in history had been vilified and ridiculed in the way that Napoleon was vilified and ridiculed ever before.

Flattering portraits and memorabilia collected by British admirers in the 1790s gives way to mockery, as Napoleon becomes more of a threat to Britain.

‘The Corsican pest or Beelzebub going to supper’ by James Gillray 1803 Saint Helena Island Info Island History

By the time the two countries are at war in 1803, British cartoonist James Gillray portrays Napoleon being roasted over a fire by the devil in ‘The Corsican pest or Beelzebub going to supper’.

Mocking Napoleon as ‘Little Boney’ and perpetuating the idea he was small in stature helped diminish the feeling of threat.

Because you were frightened of him, you had to belittle him, make him seem not so frightening, said curator Sheila O’Connell.

So you made him a little tiny person. And that is how he’s remained in the British consciousness ever since.

- Propaganda tool -

‘Little Boney’ appears again in 1812 as Napoleon’s Russian campaign turns into a disaster.

‘General Frost shaving Little Boney’ by William Elmes 1812 Saint Helena Island Info Island History

A cartoon by William Elmes called ‘General Frost shaving Little Boney’ shows the cold as a monster crushing the French armies and trapping Napoleon’s feet in ice.

Sold for an average of between 1 and 4 shillings each, the drawings were particularly popular in shops frequented by the London elite.

Used as a propaganda tool and sometimes controlled by the government, the satires helped forge a sense of British unity and shaped the way Napoleon was perceived through generations.

They do have an influence on shaping people image of Napoleon. The idea that Napoleon is a little, angry chap sticks, Clayton said.

The fact that he was actually of average height seems to have escaped everybody’s attention.

Cartoonists are kinder when Napoleon is less of a threat, and at times some Britons displayed admiration for the emperor.

One example is a bronze bust of Napoleon, carved in the style of a Roman emperor with idealised features, and installed in 1818 in a British aristocrat’s garden.

Featured at the entrance to the exhibition, the bust has a call for the emperor to return from exile in Saint Helena engraved at its base.

Closing Humour Saint Helena Island Info Island History

Laugh at funny Island History humour LOL Saint Helena Island Info


Credits:

{a} From Views of St Helena, by G.W. Melliss{2}, published in 1857



Footnotes:

{1} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged.{2} Father of John Melliss.



Take Me Anywhere But Here!

Translate this page using Google™ Translate Saint Helena Island Info Island History
translate traducir översätta vertalen übersetzen tradurre