Special Interests: Napoleon and his Autistic Traits- Cormac O’Brien
The media depicts different people who have autism as being strange or weird. In my view I see
it as people who experience the world differently, Some Doctors state that you are naive if you
have autism but I disagree. One man who many people, myself included, think have the
condition, is Napoloen Bonaparte. My interest started off by reading about him. But I feel influence from the media. I saw Disney’s the Aristocats when I was younger and my favourite characters were the two dogs Napoleon and Layfette. But really what sparked it was listening to the Eurovision song Waterloo and I thought ‘who is this person that they are speaking about’ so I was hooked reading about him. I felt we had a lot in common.
Going on holiday to Egypt sparked my interest further. During University I really got into it. I joined the Irish Napoleonic society in 2016 when they where hosting the International conference in Dublin so I went to it and I have not stopped since. In 2017 I went and gave a paper about Napoleon’s horse and its connection to Ireland then I went to Italy in 2018 and gave a paper on Napoleonic propaganda in Ireland. This year I gave a paper about what happened to the Irish in France during the 100 days. My passion for Napoleon is
wide ranging and can’t wait to go to the next conference next year.
Who Is Napoleon and why is he so important?
Napoleon in retrospect is one of the greatest leaders in both military and social history.
Where was he from and what was his upbringing like?
Napoleon was born on the Isle of Corsica in 1769. He was a middle class gent who wasn’t poor
but wasn’t rich either. His Father was appointed to Versailles by the King so he had to follow.
When we look at the way Napoleon acts when he goes to Military College, this is were the real “Austic Areas”
came across. Napoleon was shy and not a great mixer: his peers used to mock him due to his
thick Italian accent. He kept to himself and preferred reading about the great leaders in
books and history just like we have the super heroes today. His Spiderman, Batman and
Superman where Hannibal, Caeser and Charlemagne.
He idolised these people and held them high regard. And would later influence him. Furthermore he excelled in Maths and physics. He excelled in military school, serving in a cannon unit. Napoleon then joined the side of the French revolutionaries and reported to Toulouse where he helped the French claim back Toulouse from the British. Bonaparte often joked later on in his life that he was injured by an Irish guy at that battle. He helped save the French republic from monarchists by using cannons to stop them. He was then sent to Italy where he won many battles and was declared a hero.
Later on he met up with Irish rebel Theobold Wolfetone to stage a rebellion in Ireland. Instead of
going to Ireland the French government decided to switch Napoleon from the Irish campaign to
the Egyptian campaign. They sent him to Egypt to try to get rid of him as he was getting more popular
every day. He won many battles in Egypt until the British arrived and sunk all his ships. He nevertheless
escaped Egypt with a couple of people. A bloodless coup then happened with the French deciding to for a consul government with three consuls with Napoleon being appointed to being one of the consuls.
One of the consuls died and the people voted overwhelming to put Napoleon as First Consul. He brought in many laws that still remain in France to this day. As mentioned before Napoleon looked up to some heroes and took inspiration from them the emperor from Charlemagne and the eagle from Caeser. He wanted to be the best leader in history. Many leaders where worried that he would spread his influence elsewhere so they declared war on him. He fought against his enemies for a couple of years till they beat him and exiled him to Elba. Bonaparte escaped Elba and went back to France where he finally met defeat at the battle of Waterloo.
He went in exile to the island of St Helena where an Irish man wrote about his time on the island. This work by the Irish man has lead to many people and myself included that Napoleon had Asperger’s. He died on the island and his body was moved 10 years later back to France.