As the hype builds on the release of Ridley Scott’s Napoleon we focus on his birthplace… Corsica it is and no Boneys about it.
Scott’s blockbuster we imagine will dwell on his dizzying ascent, and everything high would have discombobulated Le Petit General.
And how he emerged as a brilliant commander of the French Revolutionary forces.
And Emperor of all France, and its territories, before being exiled to Elba.
Breaking out for the rematch with Britain and her allies.
And meeting his Waterloo at a small village in what is modern-day Belgium.
And ending his days in one of the remotest islands in the world, St Helena, off South Africa.
Throw in a Caribbean-born beauty whose wiles he oddly resisted for the sake of France.
And you’ve got the story of Napoleon and then don’t have to splash the cash on the film.
Only there’s that bit about where Boney was from and don’t our birthplaces always define us?
Which is always the first question we ask of our Corsican amis when we meet up with.
Which we’re doing today in Edinburgh and we’ll fill you in on that, and much more, once our vin-clouded head clears.
But here’s an insight into what gets discussed during these auld alliances and how Boney is celebrated in Corsica.
Because L’Empereur started out, as so many do, as a narrow nationalist, a fan of separatist Pascal Paoli.
But don’t just take our word for it, well do, but this is what Boney said on the subject.
On Corsica I was given life, and with that life I was also given a fierce love for this my ill-starred homeland and fierce desire for her independance. I too shall one day be a ‘Paoli’.Napoleon Bonaparte
And helpfully he’ll take you around the island, or at least the company who act in his name, will.
With Karine Huguenaud, of Napoleon.org, helpfully suggesting routes taking in Ajaccio and Corte.
As well as excursions to Bastia, Calvi and Bonifacio.
Now if the question burning in your mind as you watch the Ridley Scott film is why the Bonapartes left Corsica for France.
Then you’re probably watching the wrong movie.
But it would be part of the biography I’d want to see.
The story of Boney’s family
And it’s not as if the story isn’t all there.
At the Maison Bonaparte, on rue Saint-Charles, close to the old Genoese citadel and quayside.
It’s a tale of early Boney of the 1760s over four floors.
When Napoleon’s father, Carlo, switched sides from the Paolist rebels to support the French.
And we guess like good Corsicans of the time Napoleon did what his pere said.
Add into that too that Napoleon was of Tuscan and Genoese stock and you’ll see too that Mama was integral too.
And here at the museum you can see the sofa on which his mother Letizia gave birth to Napoleon.
And Corsica it is and no Boneys about it.
We found flights from London Gatwick to Bastia on Corsica from £104 return with easyJet via Expedia.