A little man with great charisma and a grand design for the world.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was such an important figure in world history that the years from 1800-1815 are generally known as the “Napoleonic Era.” He divorced Josephine and in 1810 married Marie Louise, daughter of the Austrian emperor.
As an emperor in his own right, Napoleon intended to found a dynasty. To do that, he had to have a son, whom his second wife provided. The boy was called “the King of Rome” but only lived into his twenties and died of tuberculosis in Vienna.
Portrait by artist-historian George Stuart.
Courtesy Museum of Ventura County.
Images © copyright by Peter d'Aprix