Baker & Taylor A dual portrait of two flamboyant figures illuminates their personal lives and the social context in which they lived.
Blackwell North Amer Napoleon and Josephine's relationship is one of the most fascinating love stories history. Their unlikely union began in the heady atmosphere of post-Terror Paris. Josephine was a sensual and debt-ridden widow in search of a wealthy protector; Napoleon was a ruthlessly ambitious young army officer in need of a wife with a fortune. When Napoleon, blinded by passion and dazzled by Josephine's apparent influence in powerful political salons, insisted upon marriage, she accepted only with the greatest reluctance. Their roles were reversed after Napoleon's return to Paris from his victorious military campaigns, and his forgiveness of her notorious infidelity. The former awkward suitor had become France's most glorious military hero, carrying her with him up the very steps of the imperial throne. Their often-precarious marriage survived his infidelities and her wild extravagance. While his incandescent passion for her turned into friendship, she was transformed into a tender and faithful wife. Whether restoring order to a chaotic post-revolutionary France or conquering two-thirds of Europe, Napoleon's attention remained centered on Josephine, his incomparable consort, the core of his imperial court, and the island of serenity that never failed him. Her inability to produce an heir led to divorce and the foundation of Napoleon's power began to crumble only after his separation from the woman he superstitiously regarded as his lucky star. Evangeline Bruce brings both of these magnetic personalities to life in this enthralling portrait, illuminating their public and private lives with seductive detail and exploring the social and cultural context in which they lived. Her impeccabIy researched work, much of it drawn from Napoleon and Josephine's own letters and journals, is a landmark biography of two of history's most important and engaging people.
Baker & Taylor Carefully researched by an authority on French history, a dual portrait of two intriguing, flamboyant figures illuminates their personal lives, the social and cultural context in which they lived, and the reversal of roles in their marriage. 20,000 first printing.