Napoleon Bonaparte is perhaps one of the most iconic figures in French warfare history. Known for his spectacular portraits as well as his invasions attempts, he was a figure that few have come close to mimicking – in some cases, for good reason! But do you know more about Napoleon Bonaparte than just his alleged height and the hand he supposedly kept in his jacket? Here’s our full fact file on the emperor.
- Napoleon allegedly used to enjoy walking around Paris’ streets in disguise. It’s thought he used to wander around enquiring everyday citizens as to what they thought of their leader!
- His nickname – whether he liked it or not – was ‘the little corporal’. However, he is thought to have been around 5 feet 6 inches in height, which at the time is likely to have been average for men in France.
- Napoleon once earned the approval of legendary Ludwig Van Beethoven. In fact, he was set to dedicate his third symphony to the leader in his honour. However, once he learned that Napoleon had declared himself the emperor of France, he rescinded his tribute.
- Napoleon was also a budding author, having tried his hand at romantic novels. He wrote the novel Clisson et Eugenie. The jury’s out over whether or not it’s on par with the best of Barbara Cartland and Danielle Steele!
- Napoleon spent the last six years of his life in exile, eventually passing away on St Helena, a small island in the Atlantic Ocean. He took up exile as a result of ongoing military defeats and following his failed attempt to invade Russia and the fall of Paris, he fled.
- Believe it or not, there were attempts to try and wrest, or even rescue Napoleon from St Helena. There were attempts to break the emperor out of exile through balloon and submarine, for example! However, it was not to be.
- The emperor was best known for his role in what have become known as the Napoleonic Wars. However, thanks to a certain hit song, it’s likely many people will remember him for his defeat at Waterloo.
- He allegedly said ‘not tonight, Josephine’ in response to certain advances from his wife. However, studies of his letters to his bride appear to show that he was completely infatuated with her. If anything, it seems Josephine may have been the cold one in the relationship.
- Napoleon actually had a house built for him in New Orleans, USA. It was a renovation headed by Nicholas Girod, then-mayor of New Orleans, who was an ardent follower of the emperor. It was always intended to be the new permanent domicile for Napoleon – however, following his death, Girod used the property for his family. The name of the property? Napoleon House.
- A lot of things were presumed, and still as assumed, about Napoleon. He was thought to have been completely tone-deaf, and what’s more, he supposedly had a fear of cats. Whether or not this second rumour was true or not is up for debate!
Do you know any fun, strange or interesting facts about Napoleon? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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