MEMOIRS OF ROUSTAM: Napoleon's Imperial Bodyguard
by Roustam Raza / Translated by Catherine Carpentar / Edited with annotations and Introduction by Ara Ghazarians
The Memoirs of Roustam is a piece unmatched in Napoleonic literature, and with such an exotic author, it is among the most fascinating in the life and legacy of Napoleon Bonaparte. Kidnapped in the Caucasus and sold in the slave markets of Constantinople, Roustam in his Memoirs traces his odyssey from Mamluk to becoming Napoleon's imperial bodyguard, valet and procurer, from Egypt to the gates of Versailles and beyond. Roustam entered Napoleon's life without wealth, power or title, and became, over the years, his most trusted confidant.
The Memoirs provide a unique perspective on the life of Napoleon during his tenure (1799-1814). Roustam's Memoirs shed light on the personal affairs of the most powerful political figure and military genius in modern European history. He is said to have had influence and played a role in some of the most sensitive decisions made by Napoleon, in particular those pertaining the fate of his ethnic kin, the Armenians and their communities in Italy and Russia.