During the Napoleonic Wars, Sicily was of some tactical importance, and a British garrison was established there in 1806. For the next five years domestic and diplomatic affairs became increasingly complicated, and at last, in 1811, Lord William Bentinck was sent out to restore order. Dr Rosselli's account of his unsuccessful mission is a story of strange people and strange events. The main characters in the drama are colourful enough: King Ferdinand, lazy, irresponsible and likely to withdraw at the sign of trouble to his shooting lodge at La Ficuzza, leaving the affairs of state in the hands of his son; Queen Maria-Carolina, devoid of all common sense, enfeebled by opium and full of violent distrust of British interference; Prince Francis, a broken reed, weak-willed, vacillating, afraid of his parents, as much as of Bentinck; and the politicians of Palermo, occasionally scheming and ambitious, but more often too naive to be reliable.
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(216mm x 140mm x 14mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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