Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was something of an outsider in France, having been born into a noble family of Italian ancestry on the French-ruled island of Corsica. Trained within the ranks of the French Royal and subsequently French Revolutionary Army, Napoleon rose to power on the back of civil unrest that broke out in Paris following the Reign of Terror (1793-94). His future wife Josephine (1763-1814), whom he married in 1796, was also an outsider, being of Creole background, a member of a French plantation dynasty based in Martinique. Josephine’s first husband, a member of the aristocracy, was guillotined during the French Revolution, leaving her a single mother with two small children to support. Her meeting with the young military officer Bonaparte brought her security, she in turn offered her new husband an elegant and refined social life.