This week marks the 198th anniversary of Napoleon being exiled to Elba, a move celebrated by palindrome fans everywhere. (Able was I ere I saw Elba," you know.
Exiles have been around forever, people forced to leave their country of choice for one reason or another. Sometimes it's worked out well, sometimes it hasn't.
Here, in honor the little big man, we offer five.
5. The Rolling Stones They were tax exiles who headed to France to escape Britain's Inland Revenue. The move gave us Exile on Main St. Two other albums whose title references the singer's tax exile: Rod Stewart's Atlantic Crossing and Cat Stevens's Foreigner.
4. King Zog of Albania The Big Z left his country in 1939 when Mussolini invaded, an invasion made easier by the fact that the Albanian Army was ill-equipped and riddled with Italian "advisers." Zog, who deserves inclusion on this list if only for his kick-ass name, lived in luxury in England, France and Egypt after his escape. (It's not known whether he went around commanding "Kneel before Zog!")
3. Ferdinand Marcos The semi-dictator of the Philippines (he was officially a friend of the U.S., therefore he simply could not have been a full-fledged dictator) was a world-class embezzler and kickback artist and bribee who looted as much from his country as possible before being tossed out in 1986. He lived in Hawaii, and his wife Imelda remains a punch line for her collection of thousands of shoes.
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2. Ben Kenobi A Jedi knight who went into exile on Tatooine, he chose an alias so elaborate no one could figure out who he was.
1. Roman Polanski Forever hounded by authorities who have no idea what it was like to be a star director in the `70s, especially one with a laissez-faire attitude towards statutory-rape laws.