When Lisa Donato says that the painting, the Casilian Woman, that had once belonged to her family was all that was left of a once large estate, explaining the taxes and death duties and the like had sapped the rest away, Napoleon's remark is "Yes, I know." Hmmm... He knows, huh? Sounds to me like Napoleon's family did, at least at some point and seemingly within his own range of personal memory, have wealth that wound up being "eaten away" by the same things as that of Lisa Donato's family.
I've always held that a man who had one grandfather who was an ambassador and the other who was an admiral had to come from some sort of privileged background. Those just aren't positions held by the poor. But others point to the remark Solo makes in BRAIN-KILLERS about understanding about needing money for the basics of life as indicating he had to come from a poor background.
The remark here seems to reconcile the two ideas: privileged background but lost inheritance from the vagaries of taxes and death duties and maybe unpaid debts of the grandparents, etc. Yet it seems likely he experienced at least some time growing up with money, since he was well aware what would result in a "hemorraging" of that money.
Of course we'll never know what the writers intended (if anything, since every single writer may have had their own private ideas of the guys' backgrounds, ideas that more than likely went unshared and definitely undocumented). Still, I have to say that this comment is just as intriguing with regard to Napoleon's status with regard to wealth and privilege as the one in BRAIN-KILLERS. More so in my opinion.
Of course, I've created my own background for Solo in my stories that works for me and I hope others find it believable as well. But honestly that remark in RE-COLLECTORS really made me nod my head and say, "Yes, that fits in with the other remark in BRAIN-KILLERS quite nicely."