Napoleon & Josephine: An Improbable Marriage

9781842125397: Napoleon & Josephine: An Improbable Marriage
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Provides a colorful richly textured dual portrait of the flamboyant French emperor, his sensual Creole wife, and the turbulent social, political, and cultural world in which Napoleon and Josephine lived. Reprint.

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Antonia Fraser explains why this is one of her favourites...
The marriage of the Corsican-born Napoleon, then a young army officer, to the languid, promiscuous Creole beauty, Josephine de Beauharnais, brought together two complete opposites. Josephine, the widow of a man guillotined in the Terror, was indeed extremely reluctant to take the plunge and it was only the need for a protector which swayed her. Napoleon on the other hand was physically obsessed by Josephine, but also believed that her political influence in the salons of Paris would help him in his urgent struggle to succeed. What is so compelling about this book - apart from the tempestuous love story it tells - is the brilliant use Evangeline Bruce makes of the contrast between to the two worlds from which the couple came. Her acute sense of social observation recreates the background of the Napoleons, explains the hostility to Josephine, the power of Napoleon's mother, before passing to Josephine's own exotic early life and then, unforgettably, the Paris of the Directorate and the Empire.


A joint biography of Napoleon and Josephine, Emperor and Empress of the French Republic.

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