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Why Napoleon couldn't spell his own name - and other surprising ways Corsica shaped him

Corsica
Corsica has never entirely put away its otherness, its desire to be the master of its own matters Credit: istock
France's foremost 19th century figure was born 250 years ago today. His story lingers in the pretty seaside city of Ajaccio, a place worthy of a visit

The house at the top end of Rue Letizia does not look like a building where an event that would tear Europe asunder took place. It is not that the property is unattractive. Its exterior walls are daubed a pale yellow, while the shutters that frame its first-floor windows are a soft turquoise-green - and this combination of colours is enough to give the structure a gentle elegance.

But it also has a simplicity that leaves it overshadowed by the arboreal prettiness of the garden which faces it on Place Letizia - the unexpected sound of trees rustling in this distinctly urban setting of narrow streets and busy shop-fronts drawing the visitor's attention away from what is in front of them.

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