January 8, 2024

8 Surprising Facts About Napoleon Bonaparte

8 Surprising Facts About Napoleon Bonaparte

In light of the recent movie (Napoleon, 2024 by Ridley Scott) about Napoleon Bonaparte, here are eight fun facts that reveal interesting facets of this iconic figure:

  1. Formal Military Training: Despite his later military genius, Napoleon struggled academically at the École Militaire in Paris, graduating 42nd out of 58 students​​.
  2. Corsican Nationalist Origins: Initially, Napoleon advocated for Corsica's independence from France, a stark contrast to his later role as a French icon​​.
  3. Joséphine's Narrow Escape: His first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais, narrowly avoided execution during the French Revolution, only to become a celebrated socialite and Napoleon's partner​​.
  4. The Myth of "Not Tonight, Joséphine": Contrary to popular belief, this phrase probably wasn't uttered by Napoleon. In reality, he was deeply infatuated with Joséphine, even as she had affairs during his military campaigns​​.
  5. Height Misconceptions: Napoleon wasn't as short as often portrayed. He was around 5 feet 6 inches tall, which was average for his time​​.
  6. Romantic at Heart: He wrote a romance novel titled "Clisson et Eugénie," a tale of passionate lovers separated by war​​.
  7. No Fear of Cats: Despite rumors, there's no record to suggest Napoleon had ailurophobia (fear of cats)​​.
  8. Rosetta Stone Discovery: Napoleon's Egyptian campaign led to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, crucial in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs​​.

These facts provide a glimpse into the complex character of Napoleon, showcasing a blend of military prowess, romantic inclination, and a journey from Corsican nationalist to a French legend.