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Rare Napoleon letter exhibits English skills

FONTAINEBLEAU, France (AP) – A rare letter written by Napoleon in English has sold at auction for (EURO)325,000 ($405,210), five times the predicted price.

The document went under the hammer Sunday in Fontainebleau and sold after a dramatic bidding war.

The letter was a homework exercise Napoleon sent to an English teacher for correction in 1816 and sealed with the Imperial eagle wax stamp. The Osenat auction house says it is only one of three such letters in English by Napoleon known to exist.

The letter shows that Napoleon, one of history’s most famed Anglophobes and a man who dismissed England as a “nation of shopkeepers,” learned late in life to speak the enemy tongue.

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