Hardboiled, the Corsicans. Perhaps no surprise that a Napoleon could come out of there. For overall toughness and misfortune in love, however, we can argue that Sampiero has the marshal beat.
He was born a commoner and a reduced lower aristocratic mother. With a background like that, the military was a natural. He apprenticed as a soldier at age fourteen.
He was good at it, too. He led Corsican mercenaries for France’s house of Valois during the Italian wars and was more successful than not. The money was good, too. By 1547, he was a colonel and rich enough to marry Vanina D’Ornano. He was forty nine. She was fifteen. Continue reading