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A year before Napoleon Bonaparte was born at Ajaccio in Corsica, the island had been sold by Genoa to France's Louis XV.

The Italians had finally rid themselves of the troublesome and rebellious people and shifted them on to the French, who soon found them as equally difficult to rule.

Led by General Pascal Paoli, the Corsicans rebelled in 1769 but were defeated at the battle of Ponte-Novo.

Paoli went in to exile, but returned 20 years later after agreeing to rule by Paris.

Early in the French Revolution, the ageing general again stirred up insurrection - but had little support among most Corsicans.

Turning to Britain, he watched as redcoats took over his island and soon fell out with them too.

Exiled again, he died in London in 1807.

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