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The Josephine Bonaparte Collection: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, and The Last Great Dance on Earth Paperback – October 22, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1216 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Slp edition (October 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743246217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743246217
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 2.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Miami, Florida, in 1944, and lived in Rio de Janeiro, Berkeley and Chicago before immigrating to Canada in 1970 to teach in an Inuit village in northern Labrador for one year.

Settling in Toronto, I worked as a book editor for a decade before moving with my husband and two children to a log house in northern Ontario. Juggling children, a dog, three cats, pigs, chickens and a succession of horses, I worked as a freelance editor for five years before committing to writing full-time in 1985.

Ten years later, the first of the novels in the JOSEPHINE B. TRILOGY was published. (The trilogy is now published in 15 countries and in 13 languages.) MISTRESS OF THE SUN, my 4th novel, was published in 2008 (and is now in 8 languages). THE SHADOW QUEEN will be published in the spring of 2013.

I am now writing a young adult novel about Hortense, Josephine Bonaparte's daughter (and Napoleon's step-daughter).

Our children grown, my husband and I now live half the year in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and half in Ontario.

For more information, please see my website at http://www.sandragulland.com.

Customer Reviews

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Whilst my knowledge of the French Revolution was scant prior to reading the books.
Pamela
I went through the trilogy within a month's time and was so happy that I had #2 and #3 ready to read once I finished the previous books!
HWJ
Rich in historical detail, Gulland's story of Josephine's life feels immediate and intimate.
Carol H

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Joan C. Frank on August 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
As other reviewers point out, this trilogy is exceedingly readable. In my opinion, Gulland deserves more than the usual accolades for this accomplishment. The style in which she writes is very difficult to use successfully. Because the entire text is in the format of Rose/Josephine's journal entries, Gulland limits the tools that she can use to tell the story of her heroine. First, everything is necessarily written in first person. The only time the reader gets a glimpse of the points of view of other characters is through the conversations that Josephine reports. Additionally, everything is strictly in time order - no flash back or foreshadowing. Finally, Gulland does not permit herself to use omniscience in the form of a character or narrator. We must be fully satisfied by hearing about Josephine's life in Josephine's words. What a feat!
Within the confines set for herself, Gulland creates a wonderful work of fiction and of history. The characters are big and real and riveting. The pain felt today and the tension felt about the future are palpable. The many facets of each individual are described in glorious detail. The story line is terrifying because it is one woman's harrowing life, and it is one nation's journey through unspeakable trial. I was left wondering if Josephine had been in another time, in safer environs, would her beauty have shown so brightly? She is clearly a pearl before and amongst the swine of her era and situation. I definitely want to read more about her!
Other nice touches provided by Gulland include family trees for Rose/Josephine and Napoleone's families, a glossary of characters and a historical time line of events. These details help the reader to stay grounded in the reality of history.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
The trilogy consists of these novels:
1. The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.: Here we are introduced to Rose Tascher. She lives at a sugar plantation with her family at Martinico. Soon she is chosen to move to France and marry Alexandre Beauharnais. Rose and her family experience the French Revolution/Terror, the death of friends, and the change of life as they know it. At the end of this novel, which covers many years, Rose meets and marries Napoleon Bonaparte, and she soon must change her name to Josephine.
2. Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe: Josephine is witness to futher battles and scandal of the Revolution. Napoleon is victorious in his wars, and is elevated in popularity. Soon, after more scandal, the Directors of the Revolution are overcome and Josephine and Napoleon are the new leaders of France. This novel ends with the couple moving in to the palace.
3. The Last Great Dance on Earth: Josephine and Napoleon have been married for several years. Josephine is unable to produce an heir and rumors say that Napoleon will take another wife. Meanwhile, the Bonaparte clan would do anything to get rid of Josephine. In a few years, Napoleon does indeed divorce Josephine, and it takes a great toll on both. He is losing wars and France is falling into the enemy's hands. This is unfortunately the end of this wonderful story.
When I first began to read the trilogy, I was confused on my opinion of it because I hadn't read many novels that were like this. Yet, as I read on, I was to the point where I couldn't stop! Sandra Gulland is a great author, and I am eagerly awaiting any future novels written by her.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
After seeing the painting by J.L. David, "The Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine", I wanted to learn more about the woman who was kneeling at the foot of the altar--Josephine. I was looking for something that would be enjoyable to read and would give me information. These 3 books were perfect! They were not hard to read at all, because I'm 13 years old and I undertstood them(of course, you can't exactly go by my judgement; I read Hamlet and understood it). I liked how they were written in a diary format. It's like you are reading Josephine's inner thoughts. Even though they are fiction, they are packed with historical facts. If you want to know more about this amazing woman, enjoy history, or just want a good read, these are the books for you!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bookoceansky on May 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
These books are like a window into another world--Josephine's life becomes like that of a real person. It sparks the imagination; I have found myself searching the internet all the time for information about clothing, art, and architecture of the time period. Josephine is portrayed in a very good light in these books, as is Napoleon--who knows how things were in real life. These books were incredibly captivating; I couldn't put them down. They are full of love and fun stories as well as fascinating history. I recommend them!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 2003
Format: Paperback
I was (happily) surprised when, after reading the first few pages, I was hooked into this book. Ms. Gulland does a fine job of intertwining fact & fiction to create a compulsively readable story. The characters are clearly & fully drawn without sacrificing important historical facts. As a French Revolution buff, I was hesitant to see what liberties the author had taken with the "real story," so I was pleased to see that this fictional journal could almost pass for the real thing.
I look forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy!
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