Like many learners of English before and since, Napoleon found English irregular verbs difficult to master, and was misled by 'faux amis' or 'false friends', words that look the same in two languages, but mean different things.
Fragments from a notebook used by Napoleon while he was in exile in St Helena at the end of his life are being auctioned in Paris this weekend. They contain his attempts to learn English. One fragment has 'run, runned, running' and on another he translates the French Qu'est-ce qui était arrivé? as 'what is it that arrived?' instead of 'what had happened?'. He was taught English by the atlas-maker the Comte de Las Cases, his companion in exile on St Helena.