Napoléon, Son of Corsica?
Despite Ajaccio’s pride in its Napoléonic connections, le petit caporal had an ambivalent attitude to the island where he was born in 1769. Previously an avid supporter of Paoli’s independent government, Napoléon’s father transferred his allegiance when the French took over Corsica that year, and sent his son to be educated in France (where he was mercilessly mocked for his Corsican accent). Thereafter, Napoléon spent little time on the island, and never returned following his 1804 coronation as emperor of France. The closest he came was in exile on Elba, where he famously claimed he could recognise his homeland purely from the scent of the maquis.