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Quiz about Where Do They Come from
Quiz about Where Do They Come from

Where Do They Come from ? Trivia Quiz


Surely you know about these Napoleonic marshals' and generals' battles and military feats, but how much do you know about their origins and their early years?

A multiple-choice quiz by Swanchika. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Swanchika
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
364,212
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
202
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Question 1 of 10
1. In his play "Madame Sans-Gêne", Victorien Sardou reminds us, through an epic tirade from the eponymous lady, that many of the soldiers Napoleon made Dukes and Princes were of very humble origins and rose entirely through their own merit. This future Marshal's father was an impoverished peasant, and the young man had to work as a dyemaker to support himself. Who was it ? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. According to his aide-de-camp and confidant, Jean-Baptiste Marcellin de Marbot, Pierre-François Augereau had a tumultuous life; his first stay in the French army came to an abrupt end when he killed a noble officer who had insulted him, and he had to flee. For some time he found refuge in Switzerland, where he made a living by selling a typical product of this country, but which? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr was born into a well-off bourgeois family from Toul, in Lorraine. His father owned a tannery and wanted his son to study engineering to expand the family business, but Laurent had other plans ... He left home at 18 to study the arts. In which major city did he stay for several years ? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. This is probably the last person you would imagine wearing a cassock, and yet ... This young man's parents thought that joining the clergy was their son's best chance for climbing the social ladder. Obviously, this was before the Revolution, but the seminarian did not wait until 1789 to be expelled from the seminary and enlist into the army. His career was so successful that he became a Marshal of the Empire. Who was he ? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. The Revolution was a hard time for the nobility, even for those nobles who supported it. To escape the death threats directed at them and their families, some young Revolutionary officers of noble birth either emigrated or kept a low profile until they were allowed to join the army again. Which of these four chose the first option? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Louis-Gabriel Suchet was the son of a prosperous industrialist from Lyon, and after his father's death in 1789, he and his younger brother took over the family business; but they soon went bankrupt and enlisted in the army. This does not mean that the two brothers were poor businessmen; but theirs was a luxury business, and with the Revolution, the demand for their products dropped dramatically. What were they manufacturing? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. No one doubts that André Masséna was a Marshal of France, yet he was not born French. We tend to overlook this because his hometown, is now in France, but at the time of Masséna's birth, to which state did it belong ? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Guillaume Brune is another of those Marshals of France who certainly did not expect to become a soldier, much less a general. The son of a lawyer, he was expected to study law in Paris, but he soon dropped his studies to devote himself to another passion - writing. In 1788, he published a book that survived to this day. What kind of work was it ? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Jean-Charles Pichegru was a teacher at the Brienne school for some time, and he actually had Napoleon Bonaparte among his students. This must have led to awkward reminiscences when the same Bonaparte had him arrested for taking part in Cadoudal's Royalist plot, aiming to assassinate the First Consul that he had become ... But what subject was Pichegru teaching in Brienne ? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. This future Marshal of the Empire had distant Dutch roots, and by an interesting coincidence, his name was given to a monument in the Netherlands. Who was it? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In his play "Madame Sans-Gêne", Victorien Sardou reminds us, through an epic tirade from the eponymous lady, that many of the soldiers Napoleon made Dukes and Princes were of very humble origins and rose entirely through their own merit. This future Marshal's father was an impoverished peasant, and the young man had to work as a dyemaker to support himself. Who was it ?

Answer: Jean Lannes

Jean Lannes (1769-1809) was one of the youngest sons of a peasant and occasional merchant from southwestern France. Although his family did not have enough money to send him to school, Lannes was fortunate enough to receive the bases of an education from his eldest brother, who had become a deacon. Being able to read and write served him well when he later joined the army, and all his life, he retained a strong intellectual curiosity that helped him perfect his tactics by learning the theories of war.

Jourdan and Masséna also appear in most versions of Madame Sans-Gêne's diatribe, including the 1961 movie by Christian-Jaque with Sofia Loren in the lead role, where they are respectively described as being a shopkeeper's assistant and a seller of oranges.
2. According to his aide-de-camp and confidant, Jean-Baptiste Marcellin de Marbot, Pierre-François Augereau had a tumultuous life; his first stay in the French army came to an abrupt end when he killed a noble officer who had insulted him, and he had to flee. For some time he found refuge in Switzerland, where he made a living by selling a typical product of this country, but which?

Answer: Watches

Pierre-François Augereau (1757-1816) was many things, and among them, a watch peddler, by Marbot's account. His wanderings took him as far as Constantinople, and he served for some time in the Russian army, before deserting and enlisting in the Prussian army; but when he realized that a foreigner like him would not get any advancement, he deserted again, went in Naples where he lived as a fencing and dance teacher and fell in love with the daughter of a wealthy merchant. Since her father refused to let her marry him, they eloped to Lisbon, only for Augereau be arrested because the French Revolution had broken out and wandering Frenchmen were considered dangerous, and jailed by the Inquisition.

His wife freed him with the help of a ship's captain, and they were able to go back to France, where he enlisted in the Revolutionary armies ...

He was made a divisional general at 36, in 1793, and the rest is history.
3. Laurent Gouvion Saint-Cyr was born into a well-off bourgeois family from Toul, in Lorraine. His father owned a tannery and wanted his son to study engineering to expand the family business, but Laurent had other plans ... He left home at 18 to study the arts. In which major city did he stay for several years ?

Answer: Rome

Born Laurent Gouvion (1764-1830), this future Marshal of the Empire might have become a famous and accomplished artist without the Revolution: he was an excellent draftsman and a good painter according to his contemporaries, he was a comedian for some time although his natural penchant for loneliness held him back, he never travelled without his violin, even during his military career; and the memoirs he wrote after he retired from public life proved that he also had a talent for writing. However, he was also a fervent patriot and in 1792, he enlisted as a volunteer, adding his mother's last name (Saint-Cyr) to his own in order to avoid confusion with all the other Gouvions in the army. Two years later, he was made a brigadier-general, and a divisional general before the end of the year.

His stay in Rome gave him an intimate knowledge of the city's artistic heritage, which proved useful when in 1798 he was sent to lead the Army of Rome, as it enabled him to denounce the French officials' shameless plundering (at least when it was not done for the benefit of national museums like the Louvre).
4. This is probably the last person you would imagine wearing a cassock, and yet ... This young man's parents thought that joining the clergy was their son's best chance for climbing the social ladder. Obviously, this was before the Revolution, but the seminarian did not wait until 1789 to be expelled from the seminary and enlist into the army. His career was so successful that he became a Marshal of the Empire. Who was he ?

Answer: Joachim Murat

Joachim Murat (1767-1815) was the youngest son of an innkeeper from the South of France. The family also acted as landowners in the employ of the Talleyrand family. With such patronage, it was possible for them to send Joachim to religious schools, but there was one slight problem: the boy was definitely not made for the priesthood. He often sneaked out at night to drink and gamble, and had frequent fights with the other seminarians ... Military life suited him better.

François-Joseph Lefebvre (1755-1820) lost his father at an early age and was raised by his uncle, who was an abbot, but beyond that, he has no connection with the clergy. The other two never even seem to have considered joining the Church, although Auguste Marmont claims in his memoirs that Junot was initially destined for priesthood - while everyone else, including his wife, states that he was originally a law student before the Revolution broke out.
5. The Revolution was a hard time for the nobility, even for those nobles who supported it. To escape the death threats directed at them and their families, some young Revolutionary officers of noble birth either emigrated or kept a low profile until they were allowed to join the army again. Which of these four chose the first option?

Answer: Géraud-Christophe Duroc

Géraud-Christophe de Michel du Roc de Brion (1772-1813) was a cadet in the artillery school of Châlons when, in July 1792, he handed in his resignation and emigrated with the rest of his family. However, he could not get accustomed to life outside of France and loved his homeland more than anything else; rather than staying idle when his country was in danger, or worse, fighting against it like many other émigrés did, he preferred to come back and change his name to the less suspicious "Duroc".

Louis-Nicolas d'Avoust (1770-1823) and Louis-Charles Antoine des Aix de Veygoux (1768-1800) also dropped their "particules nobiliaires". While Davout was in a rather uncomfortable position, being rejected by the nobility because of his Revolutionary sympathies and by the Revolutionaries because of his noble birth, he soon proved his military talents and was made a brigadier-general at 23. (He was precocious in everything, including baldness)! Desaix was never dismissed from the army like Davout and Grouchy were, but he had to witness the emigration of his parents and siblings, while his own patriotism kept him from following them.
6. Louis-Gabriel Suchet was the son of a prosperous industrialist from Lyon, and after his father's death in 1789, he and his younger brother took over the family business; but they soon went bankrupt and enlisted in the army. This does not mean that the two brothers were poor businessmen; but theirs was a luxury business, and with the Revolution, the demand for their products dropped dramatically. What were they manufacturing?

Answer: Silk

Louis-Gabriel Suchet (1770-1826) and his brother Gabriel-Catherine (1773-1835) were from Lyon, where most of the economy rested on the textile industry. Both of them had a solid education and were showing great promise as organizers, but with inflation, the fall in demand and the workers' protests against the growing use of machines, keeping the business alive was no easy task.

However, Louis-Gabriel's managerial training, combined with his uncompromising honesty, helped him administer Catalonia, and this along with his military successes explains why he is remembered as the only Marshal who was truly successful in the Peninsular campaign.
7. No one doubts that André Masséna was a Marshal of France, yet he was not born French. We tend to overlook this because his hometown, is now in France, but at the time of Masséna's birth, to which state did it belong ?

Answer: Kingdom of Sardinia

At the time of André Masséna's birth in 1758, Nice was in Piedmont-Sardinia. The County of Nice was conquered by France in 1792, but with Napoleon's abdication in 1814, it was ceded back to the House of Savoy. Of course, this did not prevent "the wiliest of Italians", as Marbot calls him, to become successful as a French general and Marshal, but it came back to haunt him in his last years, as Louis XVIII told him he wanted to make him a peer of France, but first, Masséna had to obtain his naturalization as a Frenchman.

As Marbot himself puts it in his memoirs: "When in 1814 the Allies invaded France, Masséna, who had but a few soldiers at his disposal, did nothing to stop them, and on 15 April he surrendered to the Duke of Angoulême, who made him Commander of Saint-Louis, but did not create him a peer of France, under the pretext that his foreign birth precluded this - as if his victories at Rivoli and Zurich, his defence of Genoa and a series of glorious triumphs for France were not as valuable as letters of naturalization that foreign intriguers often bought for a small fortune!"
8. Guillaume Brune is another of those Marshals of France who certainly did not expect to become a soldier, much less a general. The son of a lawyer, he was expected to study law in Paris, but he soon dropped his studies to devote himself to another passion - writing. In 1788, he published a book that survived to this day. What kind of work was it ?

Answer: A travelogue

Guillaume Brune's earliest known work, which he wrote at 25, is his "Voyage pittoresque et sentimental dans plusieurs des provinces occidentales de la France" ("Picturesque and Sentimental Journey in Several Provinces of Western France"). Around this time, he also became friends with future Revolutionaries such as Marat and Danton. At the beginning of the Revolution, he tried to broadcast his political views by buying a small printing house and publishing a newspaper called, in all simplicity, "Le Journal Général de la Cour et de la Ville concernant tout ce qui est décidé à l'Assemblée nationale, ce qui se passe à l'Hôtel de Ville de Paris, dans les districts, au Châtelet, ainsi que les nouvelles authentiques de la province, les anecdotes et tout ce qui est relatif au château des Tuileries". For some reason, others preferred to call it "Le Petit Gauthier". Soon, however, he decided that the army was a safer career than printing, and he joined the National guard in 1791.

He was probably a good general in his own right, and the main reason why he never distinguished himself in the campaigns of the Empire was that he stood in almost permanent disgrace with Napoleon due to his sincere Republican convictions, but his critics often claimed that he owed his advancement to his political ties ...
9. Jean-Charles Pichegru was a teacher at the Brienne school for some time, and he actually had Napoleon Bonaparte among his students. This must have led to awkward reminiscences when the same Bonaparte had him arrested for taking part in Cadoudal's Royalist plot, aiming to assassinate the First Consul that he had become ... But what subject was Pichegru teaching in Brienne ?

Answer: Mathematics

During his second exile, Napoleon said to Dr O'Meara : "Pichegru, an assistant in the Brienne school, taught me mathematics when I was ten" (Pichegru was around eighteen at the time). Mathematics being one of the subjects Napoleon liked the most, Pichegru was probably not even one of the teachers on whom he would have wanted to get revenge ...

Although he served the Revolution brilliantly in its early years, earning him his former student's admiration ("As a general, Pichegru was extraordinarily talented, infinitely superior to Moreau"), Pichegru eventually joined the Royalist side in 1795 and sabotaged the manoeuvres led by his colleague Jourdan. He was first suspected of treason in 1796, but he was not arrested until 1797. Sentenced to deportation to Guyana, he managed to escape and found refuge first in London, then in Germany.

Having endorsed Georges Cadoudal's plan to assassinate Napoleon during one of his travels and resolved to use the leftovers from his former popularity to institute a government favourable to the Bourbons instead of the Consulate, he landed in Normandy in early 1804, but he was in turn betrayed by one of his officers, who turned him in to the First Consul's police. After several weeks of imprisonment, he was found dead on the morning of the 6th of April 1804, strangled with his cravat - a suicide, according to the investigation conducted at that time.
10. This future Marshal of the Empire had distant Dutch roots, and by an interesting coincidence, his name was given to a monument in the Netherlands. Who was it?

Answer: Auguste-Frédéric-Louis Viesse de Marmont

In the first volume of his Memoirs, Marmont mentions that his father's line, the Viesses, were descended from an old Dutch family that settled in Burgundy in the XVIth century. As for the monument, it is now most commonly referred to as the 'Pyramid of Austerlitz', but this battle had not taken place when Marmont had his soldiers built it, mostly out of boredom, in 1804; and due to this, the pyramid was initially called 'Marmontberg'.
Source: Author Swanchika

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