The island of St Helena, in the South Atlantic, is one of the most remote and most famous islands in the world. The Duke of Wellington had stopped at the island on his way back from India and had been struck by its remoteness, leading him to recommend it as Napoleon's place of imprisonment after his defeat in 1815, thrusting the island to the centre of world affairs. But where does this legacy leave St Helena today? The island is a unique colonial survivor, almost without an economy of its own. Lacking an airport, the only regular link is by the Royal Mail Ship. The inhabitants are dependent on the support of the British government and the island relies solely on its history, and the tourists attracted by Napoleon's last residence. This fascinating book is a vivid account of a visit to the last place on earth and how a remote people and place respond to their legacy and isolation in a global world.
Johannes Willms, born 1948, is a historian and journalist. He was in charge of the editorial office at ZDF (German TV Channel) and later the feature section at the Suddeutsche Zeitung. He now works for the Suddeutsche Zeitung as the culture correspondent in Paris. His previous works includes book on German and French history. His latest book is Napoleon. A Biography.