pepoli

2

The first one is Napoleon-Achille, godson of the First Consul and Hortense, born in Paris, January 22, 1801. It was Achille who, having become a citizen of the United States, showed an intelligence that was so alive and bright in many works. This charming little girl with the long curls whose head so curiously reminds us of that of Murat is her father’s favorite: Letizia-Joséphine. It is necessary to read the letters that Murat wrote to her in order to discern the tenderness with which he mollycoddled her: these letters that my friend Guido Biagi published, in accordance with the pretty Italian custom, for «Nozze Benzoni-Martini ». She married the Marquis Pepoli of Bologne and left many descendants. Next is Napoléon-Lucien-Charles—this lovely laughing boy in red velvet clothes—, the one from among the sons and grandsons who represents the name of Murat today. Finally, the last one, whose two hands hasten to grab that spray of flowers, is Louis-Julie-Caroline, who will become the Countess Rasponi. This is the high point in Murat’s life: as enduring and powerful as his imagination was, how did he dream of such fortune? He had to pay later—and so much!—for these dream days, but was it not enough to have experienced them?

— Frédéric Masson, Biographie de Joachim Murat, le Figaro illustré, 1895.

Pepoli Castle, Sicily, Italy. With foundations dating from Saracen times, Pepoli Castle was at first a feudal stronghold. Built by the Normans on the side of a cliff overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea in the 11th century, it has had numerous additions, including three magnificent watch-towers that were built during the 15th century