A Napoleonic Hoax

In April 2002, Robert Knecht wrote an article about his quest to find Napoleonic treasure. Now, suspecting the letter which prompted it might be a hoax, he revisits the evidence.

Napoleon Bonaparte Before the Sphinx, (ca. 1868) by Jean-Léon Gérôme,‘When is a hoax not a hoax?’ is a question not commonly faced by historians but I encountered it with a vengeance in 1982 when I set out to solve a problem that my grandfather, Joseph Knecht, had encountered in 1904 when he controlled the archives of the French embassy in London.

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