A scholarly study of the intertwined careers in Corsica of Napoleon and his rival, Pozzo di Borgo, and of the feud that followed, this text is based on rare primary archival sources. It is an account of Pozzo di Borgo as the Bonapartes' family lawyer. It provides fresh information on the Bonaparte family's lawsuits. It is based on scrutiny of the private Pozzi Di Borgo family papers, particularly the Memoirs of C.A. Pozzo di Borgo, as well as contemporary documents from the Archives Nationales, the Biblioth que Nationale, the Public Record Office, the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the Corsican Departmental Archives, (and particularly the papers of the Royal Jurisdictin of Ajaccio), and Princeton University Library. What emerges is a portrait of the young Napoleon different from the conventional one, suggesting that he was much less important in Corsica than often portrayed. The outstanding importance of Pozzo di Borgo in Corsican politics and in the expulsion of the Bonapartes from Corsica is clearly established.
The last chapter, drawing on the widest ever range of sources, revises the established account of the epochal struggle between Napoleon and Pozzo from 1796 to Napoleon's death, situating it in the context of international relations.