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The Admiral’s Watch (La montre de l’amiral)



Original Language: French | 168 pp. | January 2013

2 Seas Represents: Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and English (North America) rights.

Depending on the publisher and the quality of the translation, translations from the French can be funded by the Centre national du livre in Paris.


The account of Joseph Haydn’s last days in 1809 when Vienna is bombed and occupied by the French. A luscious, poetic and fascinating evocation of an artistic genius who overcomes anxious times with simplicity.

Le Monde: “A moving portrait”
Le Nouvel Observateur: “What a beautiful book!”

In order to soothe his anguish and consolidate himself with the approach of death, Joseph Haydn plays God Save Franz the Emperor, which he wrote a few years earlier in honor of the Austrian Emperor Francis II. Meanwhile, the French bombard and occupy Vienna. “Papa Haydn” is famous throughout Europe, yet he lives modestly. In his will, he includes those who were important in his life.

This is a farewell to a baroque, flavorsome and colorful Austria, to the Enlightenment, to the Holy Roman Empire that Napoleon wipes away by one stroke of the pen. The music of Haydn’s God Save Franz the Emperor continues to live on and will mark the fate of Europe. With new lyrics, it will become the German national anthem Deutschland über Alles. This is how this factual novel mingles Joseph Haydn’s destiny with the history that will upset the entire continent surrounding him.

  • The unforgettable encounter between Haydn and Lord Nelson accompanied by Lady Hamilton.
  • The mesmerizing evocation of music and creative life reminds us of Pascal Quignard’s Tous les matins du monde.
  • A captivating approach of Central European culture during the Enlightenment and early Romanticism.