By birth a Corsican of lesser nobility, Napoleon capitalized on his military genius and shrewd political instincts to ultimately become Emperor of France. A brilliant tactitian, he conquered most of the continent before the bitter cold of the Russian winter destroyed his armies. The Russian fiasco was followed by a major defeat at Leipzig, and Napoleon was eventually exiled to the island of Elba. Undaunted, he engineered a return to France and rallied his armies. Defeated decisively by the Allies at the Battle of Waterloo, the erstwhile emperor was exiled to the remote island of St. Helena, where, according to recent historical findings, he was poisoned.
Although passionately in love with Josephine, the widow of Beneral de Beauharnais whom he married after her husband was guillotined; Napoleon was a reactionary pragmatist regarding women. To solidify his hold on Europe and to establish a French imperial dynasty, he divorced Josephine and married Marie Louise, the Archduchess of Austria.
Napoleon was convinced that marriage should not be an affair of hormones and propinquity, but of acquiring and transmitting property and conceiving and raising children, and that adultery was not a cause for divorce unless the man kept his mistress under the same roof as his wife. However, he declared a wife’s adultery as grounds for divorce--even though he twice forgave Josephine for cuckolding him.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) -- Emperor of the French, statesman, and military strategist who conquered most of Europe and established the bureaucratic structure of the modern French state
have no rank.
have always thought that woman was made for man, and man for country, family,
glory, and honor.
treat women too well, and in this way have spoiled everything. We have done
every wrong by raising them to our level. Truly the Oriental nations have more
mind and sense than we in declaring the wife to be the actual property of the
husband. In fact nature has made woman our slave. . . . Woman is given to man that she
may bear children .
. . consequently
she is his property, just as a fruit tree is the property of the gardener.
weakness of women’s brains, the instability of their ideas . . . their need for perpetual
resignation . . . all this can be
met only by religion.
woman, in order to know what is due her and what her power is, must live in
Paris for six months.
Women . . . should not be regarded as the
equals of men; they are, in fact, mere machines to make children.
do not like masculine women any more than effeminate men. Everyone would play
his own part in this world.
is more imperious .
. . than
weakness when it knows it is backed by strength; look at women.
are always much better or much worse than men.
Women . . . are capable of committing the
worst atrocities. . If war broke out
between men and women, it would be quite a different business from the
struggles we have seen between nobles and the people, or whites and blacks.
is the most active passion of the [female] sex.
the women whine, it is their business.
I . . . repent not having talked more
with the ladies. I would have learned a great many things from them that men
did not dare tell me.