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Josephine A Life of the Empress

Erickson, Carolly

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ISBN 10: 1861052847 / ISBN 13: 9781861052841
Verlag: Robson Books Ltd, London, 1999
Gebraucht Zustand: Very Good Hardcover
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Good to very good in dust jacket-clean copy -no markings; B&W Illustrations; 9.20 X 6 X 1.10 inches; 400 pages. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 45827

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Josephine A Life of the Empress

Verlag: Robson Books Ltd, London

Erscheinungsdatum: 1999

Einband: Hardcover

Zustand:Very Good

Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good

Über diesen Titel

Inhaltsangabe:

When in 1804, Josephine Bonaparte knelt before her husband Napoleon to receive the imperial diadem, few in the vast crowd of onlookers were aware of the dark secrets behind the imperial facade. Josephine appeared alluring, wealthy and doted upon by her remarkable husband, the conqueror of Europe. In actuality, Josephine's life was far darker, for her celebrated allure was fading, her wealth was compromised by massive debt and her marriage was corroded by infidelity and abuse. Born a Creole in Martinque, sent to France in her teens to marry and save the family fortunes, Josephine was adventurous and above all hardy - a survivor in a hazardous time. Soon separated from a dissolute, spiteful husband, she made her way in the salons of Paris, a member of the shadow-world of respectability. Confined to the worst prison in Paris during the revolution and condemned to death, she miraculously escaped her fate and went on to marry the rising star of the Directory, Napoleon Bonaparte, the man who in a few short years, with Josephine at his side, became Emperor of France. This volume brings to life the complex, charming, ever-resilient Josephine, from the sensual richness of her childhood in the tropics to her final lonely days at Malmaison.

Review:

When she married Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796, Rose de Beauharnais was a 32-year-old widow who had narrowly escaped the French Revolution's guillotine. She was six years older than he, notorious for her lovers, and unlikely to give him children, but possessed of the social connections and skills the ambitious young general thought would help him rise in the revolutionary army. He gave "his living reverie, his dream of perfect passion" a new name, Josephine--perhaps hoping it would blot out her unsavory past. Instead, she continued to be promiscuous as well as extravagant, and the marriage soured as Napoleon ascended to first consul and then emperor of the French. Yet he divorced her only in 1810, when political events made it clear he must have an heir. This highly colored biography practically wallows in Josephine's lurid personal life, colored in by luscious descriptions of the period's clothes, food, and amusements. The author, whose many previous books mostly deal with English royalty, does not burden readers with excessive doses of French history; the focus is always on Josephine, whose psychology is discussed at length. Erickson succeeds in making her subject an attractive figure, if hardly an exemplar of moral rectitude. Her book should appeal to those who like their historical biographies titillating and not too taxing. --Wendy Smith

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