(Victor Hugo. Speech at the French Academy, June 3, 1841).
A promising childhood
Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Ajaccio in 1769, three months after the Republic of Genoa ceded Corsica to France. His family was of noble origin but did not live in comfort because it was necessary to feed the eight children to whom his mother Letizia gave birth. From the age of 10, he entered the military school of Brienne, very often derided by his comrades for his Corsican origins which he claims, he withdraws into himself and prefers to isolate himself to read. He proves gifted for mathematics and is interested in History, very young, he already presents a happy synthesis of the ideals of the Enlightenment and the romantic conception of the man of action. At the age of 15 he joined the military school in Paris where he became second lieutenant of artillery, his teachers passed on him the following judgment:
Amazing social integration
As the Revolution approached, he felt deeply Jacobin and did not hide his desire to see the Republic proclaimed. In 1793, France was at war with the European powers who wanted to see the end of the revolutionary ideal and its conquests. The great port of Toulon fell into the hands of the English, the position then seemed impregnable. But Bonaparte having obtained the command of the artillery forces which were to take over the city immediately showed his military genius, he distributed the few guns he had and subjected Toulon to an intensive bombardment, the British were forced to evacuate . A time imprisoned after the fall of Robespierre (9 Thermidor) for his Jacobin positions, Napoleon managed to return to the scene thanks to Barras (the most influential man of the Directory), soon he was called upon to suppress a royalist revolt ( 13 vendémiaire), his qualities as an artilleryman worked wonders and he was then promoted to general of division at the age of 26. He married Joséphine de Beauharnais (widow of the revolutionary of the same name) in 1796, then left immediately to campaign in Italy where he obtained an important command.