A introduction of Napoleon a biography :
Napoleon Bonaparte was born at Ajaccio, Corsica, on 15 August 1769.
Such a bald, even banal statement is necessary when we consider that
every aspect of the man’s life has been turned into the stuff of legend. In
1919 Archbishop Whateley tried to push beyond legend into myth by
suggesting, tongue-in-cheek, in his Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon
Buonoparte, that Napoleon had never existed, that his was a proper name
falsely attributed to the French people collectively.
The psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, while accepting the reality of Napoleon’s existence, argued that his significance was wholly collective and not individual: that he represented the resurgence from the depths of the French unconscious of the savage and irrational forces the Revolution had tried to suppress through the cult of Reason (Deesse Raison). Even those who accepted the importance of Napoleon the individual argued about his origins and his date of birth. Napoleon a biography
There has in some quarters been a curious reluctance to accept that he was a Corsican at all, even though born on the island. Some have asserted that he was descended from the Greeks, the Carthaginians or the Bretons. Others, remarking his ‘Oriental complex’ (of which more later), and noting that in the ninth century the Arab invaders of Europe reached Corsica, claim an Arab, Berber or Moorish strain in his provenance; hence (on this view) his excessive superstition, his belief in ghosts, Destiny and his own star, and his preference for Islam over Christianity. Napoleon a biography
The historian and critic Taine traced his descent to an Italian condottiere, while Disraeli, on the grounds that Corsica had once been peopled by African Semites, claimed Napoleon as a Jew (presumably, given Napoleon’s later antipathy to the Jews, an anti-semitic one). Kings of England, the Comneni, the Paleologues, and even the Julian tribe have been pressed into service as Napoleon’s forebears. The prize for the most absurd candidate as
Napoleonic ancestor must go to the Man in the Iron Mask and for the
most unlikely parents to the footman and goat girl, proposed by his most
scurrilous enemies. Napoleon a biography