In one of the ironies of history, the French Revolution led to the execution of Louis XVI and the abolition of the monarchy but also to the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte. Born into an impoverished noble family in Ajaccio in Corsica, Napoleon's astonishing military career led to him crowning himself emperor and and setting up a dynasty. Three of his brothers, Jerome, Joseph and Lucien, became kings of French satellites, and Napoleon himself staked his claim to be accepted by the other monarchs of Europe by marrying Marie-Louise, the daughter of the Austrian emperor. Although his only son, Napoleon II, died young and in exile, the dynasty sprang back to power in the person under his nephew, Louis Napoleon, who became Napoleon III, but whose son, the Prince Imperial, was killed tragically in the Zulu War. The Bonapartes shows the importance the Napoleonic dynasty in French history and traces the often difficult relationships between the members of the family.