A small Corsican village is his birthplace, but it is France that shapes his destiny: the France of the invader, the destroyer, the dissolute aristocracy.
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Torn from his island home and sent away to the strict confines of a military academy, he learns self-reliance and independence. Rising through the ranks of his contemporaries, he learns that self-will is the only will, and one can never demand more of Fortune than she is prepared to give. This is the tale of Napoleon, Emperor of the French.
Early in 1793, the people vote for the death of the King; he is led unprotesting to the guillotine on January 21. The mob attempts to harrass him, to elicit some sort of response or recognition, but none is forthcoming. The people say he has already made his peace with God, even though there is no God anymore but Reason. This is the legacy of Robespierre, the Incorruptable. The Queen looks pathetically old and frail without her corset and her false teeth, as she is paraded through the streets of Paris on her way to the scaffold. After she is murdered, the people drag her body to the forecourt of Les Tuileries, while a group of ragged children follows behind, playing catch with her severed head.