Ancient history

Bonaparte, Maria Letizia

Ajaccio, August 24, 1749 or 1750 - Rome, February 2, 1836.

At the age of fifteen, Maria-Letizia Ramolino married Charles Bonaparte on June 2, 1764. She gave him 12
children, 8 of whom would reach adulthood. Charles died of stomach cancer in 1785, the family lives in poverty. The Revolution aggravated the situation. In May 1793, Letizia and her children had to flee Ajaccio where Paoli's supporters burned down her house, then took refuge in Toulon in June, in Marseilles when the Toulon royalist insurrection began.

She “houses” her eldest, Joseph, with the daughter of a rich merchant, Elisa with a mediocre Corsican officer. But Pauline is dating a disreputable man, Stanislas Fréron, and Napoleon has married the widow Beauharnais in Paris without asking his opinion. After Brumaire, Letizia settled in Paris with her half-brother, Joseph Fesch, and watched with concern the rise of her youngest son. Although David painted her on his canvas, she did not attend the coronation of Our Lady, being in Rome. Back on December 19, 1804, she moved to the Hotel de Brienne bought from Lucien. Having become "Madame Mère", provided with the castle of Pont-sur-Seine and a life annuity of one million from 1808, Maria-Letizia manages her fortune with parsimony. After the defeat of Napoleon, she settled in Rome with Fesch. During the Hundred Days, she travels to Paris to see her youngest son one last time.

Back in Rome, she will ask in vain to join him in Saint Helena. She will die in her eighties, crippled and blind. His body will be brought back to Ajaccio in 1851.

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