French emperor and military commander Napoleon Bonaparte is a polarizing historical figure. Some celebrate him for his conquests, while others criticize him for his controversial acts and politics. But we will leave that discussion to historians. Instead, let’s check out some of the top facts about Napoleon that you probably didn’t know.
Napoleon Wasn’t Actually Short
The one thing that everyone “knows” about Napoleon is that he was short. But that isn’t actually all that true. Sure, Napoleon wouldn’t be your top pick for a basketball player at 5’5”. However, his height was actually quite average for the time period he lived in.
Napoleon Liked to Cosplay
It wasn’t unusual for Napoleon to dress up in common clothes and wear a disguise to walk around Paris. He would use that opportunity to ask people what they thought of Emperor Napoleon.
Napoleon Once Wrote a Romantic Novel
You know how they say that “some people are warriors and some people are lovers?” Well, Napoleon was both. When he wasn’t on the battlefield, Napoleon was quite fond of romance and even wrote a romantic novel titled Clisson and Eugénie. The novel follows a “doomed relationship” between a soldier and his darling and was inspired by Napoleon’s relationship with Eugénie Désirée Clary, who later became Queen of Sweden and Norway.
Napoleon Always Carried Poison Around His Neck
Napoleon would always carry a necklace with a small container of poison around his neck. His thought was that he could kill himself this way if he ever got captured. According to historical records, Napoleon actually used the poison when he was exiled to Elba but ended up surviving.