Napoleon was no linebacker, but he certainly was not short either. Using the old French measurement system, he was 5 ft. 2 in. which equals 5 ft. 6 in. by modern measurements. Today, Napoleon might not make the basketball team, but the average height in northern Europe in the late 18th century was 5 ft. 4½ in. Napoleon was 1 ½ inches taller than the average man of his time!
Even more puzzling, paintings from Napoleon's time show a tall and powerful leader. And parents during Napoleon's day certainly didn't need a "naughty matt". They could instead sing the following British lullaby to get their kids to behave:
Baby, baby, naughty baby,
Hush, you squalling thing, I say.
Peace this moment, peace, or maybe
Bonaparte will pass this way.
Baby, baby, he's a giant,
Tall and black as Rouen steeple,
And he breakfasts, dines, rely on't,
Every day on naughty people.
Baby, baby, if he hears you
As he gallops past the house,
Limb from limb at once he'll tear you,
Just as pussy tears a mouse.
And he'll beat you, beat you, beat you,
And he'll beat you into pap,
And he'll eat you, eat you, eat you,
Every morsel snap, snap, snap.
-From the Annotated Mother Goose
Napoleon definitely sounds like someone to be feared in this clever jingle. So how did this mighty ruler get remembered as a short man? (Here's a hint: he had some enemies) Read The Raucous Royals to find out more>>