Sunday, June 05, 2005

Napoleon was poisoned: toxicological study

Napoleon Bonaparte was murdered by arsenic poisoning and did not die naturally of a stomach cancer, according to a new toxicological study which attempts to end long running historical controversy. "The latest analysis suggests a criminal intent," said Dr Pascal Kintz, a toxicologist who regularly gives expert evidence in court cases, and who conducted a new study on Napoleon's hair. For International Napoleonic Society (INS) spokesman Jean-Claude Damamme the new study by Dr Kintz has produced "the definitive proof of the criminal poisoning of Napoleon". Napoleon died aged 51 in 1821, on the island of St Helena in the south Atlantic, where he had been banished after his military defeat by British and Prussian forces at Waterloo. The toxic form of arsenic, used for centuries as rat poison, was found in Napoleon's hair samples at 37 to 42 times above the normal level in the new study.


At June 05, 2005 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember an old New Scientist article stating that the arsenicum poisoning of Napoleon was not intentional but arose from the green arsenicum pigment in the wallpaper of his house. When wet such wallpaper becomes mouldy, and the moulds volatise the arsenicum.

At June 05, 2005 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT? Napoleon is dead???


At June 05, 2005 11:55 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

"Napoleon is dead???"

No, he's not. He's eating squirrels with Elvis.

At June 06, 2005 11:48 PM, Blogger Crusader Rabbit said...

This is what I call a "not-News headline". Dr. Sten Forshufvud first made this argument in 1962 and was able to demonstrate from hair samples that Napoleon was receiving frequent, acute doses of arsenic.

Weider and Hapgood's 1986 _The Murder of Napoleon_ argued that the Arsenic was in Napoleon's private stock of wine, but that the death blow came from the medications with which he was treated for the symptoms of the arsenic poisoning.


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