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The Last Great Dance on Earth Paperback – Bargain Price, November 2, 2000


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0684856085
  • ASIN: B000B86FLO
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Gulland completes her elaborately detailed Josephine Bonaparte trilogy (The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.; Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe), taking up the story in 1800 at Paris's Tuileries Palace, where 36-year-old Josephine and her younger husband, Napoleon (who has just become France's First Consul), are desperately trying to conceive. Despite numerous questionable "cures," Josephine remains barren. Her daughter from her first marriage, Hortense, marries Napoleon's brother and produces a son Napoleon wishes to adopt in order to establish a hereditary succession. When this plan fails, advisers claim Napoleon's authority has been weakened. As Napoleon and Josephine rise to power, ultimately being crowned emperor and empress, Gulland does a remarkable job of showing how rumors and disloyalties changed the course of history. Under increasing pressure to produce an heir, Napoleon divorces the heartbroken Josephine, calling the act a noble sacrifice they both must make for the Empire. Napoleon remarries, and a son is born; soon after, he leaves for his unsuccessful invasion of Russia, his last campaign before abdication and exile. Josephine dies shortly thereafter, in 1814, ending her life with thoughts of Napoleon. Florid prose floods the tale, and the diary style of the first-person narrative is limiting, but neither of these problems seriously handicaps the novel. Gulland brings to life an exciting period in Europe's past through the eyes of one of its most famous women. The popularity of the first two installments assures an avid following, but this meticulously researched tale stands alone as a romance of epic proportions. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Booklist

In the final installment of her acclaimed Josephine Bonaparte trilogy, Gulland chronicles both the marriage of Josephine and Napoleon and the rise and fall of Napoleon's vast empire. Recounted strictly from a woman's point of view, the gripping narrative offers a uniquely feminine perspective on a tumultuous historical era. An active participant in the momentous events of her day, Josephine bears witness to the treachery and political intrigue plaguing her husband's controversial reign. Of course, the passionate, tempestuous relationship between Josephine and Napoleon, two equally remarkable and charismatic individuals, forms the core of this romantic odyssey. A vividly detailed fictional portrait of one of the most fascinating women to influence the course of history. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Sandra Gulland is amazing!
Kimberly
I read this full series and this book was the last one.
Sally
I cried for her at the end!
Erin T.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By njbookworm on January 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
Excellent book! Great series! I read this one in a night.
This third and final installment marked the final chapters in the life of Josephine, beginning with Napoleon's reign of power and ending with Josephine's death.
Each page is filled with stories of Napoleon's love, their mutual passion, and Josephine's strength in the face of adversity. It was inspiring to discover how much she endured. Despite the difference in time periods, I think many of Josephine's trials (infidelity, anger, sacrifice) are relevant today. This is an inspiring book to read if you're going through a difficult time.
I still can't believe how fast a read this is -- how compelling -- how interesting. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't put it down. This is surprising to me, as I've never seemed to gravitate to history books. This book, however, is one amazing exception.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the third book in Sandra Gulland's series about Josephine Bonaparte. It is best to read all three books. They are all quick reads, very hard to put down. I had anxiously awaited the publication of this third book and I was not disappointed. This book follows Josephine from the early years of Napoleon's era as First Consul of France, through their coronation as Emperor and Empress, their divorce and Jopsephine's final years. It paints a portrait of a fascinating woman. The reader finishes the book with an understanding of how little control even the most powerful people have over their own lives. These three books enlightened me to Jopsephine's world and also increased my appetite for more books about Napoleon and his family.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly on November 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sandra Gulland is amazing! Until I picked up the first of her Josephine books, my interest in (and knowledge of) Napoleon, Josephine, and French history was minimal. I'm now enthralled! This final book in her trilogy was anxiously awaited, and I could not have been more pleased (unless, of course, history had allowed Ms. Gulland and Josephine a happier ending). The diary-style writing makes it a quick page-turner, and it truly seems as if you are reading Josephine's thoughts. Ms. Gulland blends historical fact with passionate emotion to give the reader a wonderful, personal look at two of history's most intriguing individuals, as well as a "first-hand" tale of life during that tumultuous era in France. I can't stop telling everyone about these books and my new fascination with Josephine - and I'm giving the trilogy as Christmas gifts to several people this year!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Luan Gaines HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
The last in the trilogy based on the life of Josephine, wife of Napolean, humanizes this historical love affair. I actually found this volume before reading the others, but have now bought the trilogy, since the style and quality is so fluid and easy to read.
Josephine's point of view is certainly compassionate in regard to Bonaparte, as well as forgiving. The book consists of her journal entries describing the success and coronation of the couple as Emperor and Empress of France. What has begun as a "people's revolution", gradually takes the form of a benign monarchy as Napolean models his court after other royal courts, albeit Kings and Queens. The attendant corruption is not surprising, as the struggle for power changes hands with flattery and deceit.
In Napolean's mind "blood is all", and the extensive and greedy Napolean clan take full advantage, while Josephine is unable to bear a royal successor. There is unremitting intrigue in the court until Josephine agrees to step aside in order that Napolean may divorce her and re-marry, in hopes of fathering a son. While there is no question that this diary is written with a bias towards Josephine's defense, the scenes are well-written, dramatic and intense. I seldom read novels in a diary format, but found this engaging and informative.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
I love these historical novels. Sandra Gulland has history and imagination and great writing skills going for her. I just finished this book and can say only a few things since I am still more with Josephine than with myself: She's really entered the mind and heart of another woman, another era. I completely lose myself in her words and the loss is all gain. By which I mean: I gain my own imagination back while reading of Josephine. And most of all, this is a writer you can TRUST.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By susan on March 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Gulland achieves an amazing feat not always shared by her fellow historical novelists....she captures your heart, or I should say, her characters do. You may not always sympathize with them, but you walk in their shoes, and when they are in danger, or sad, or joyful, you are too. If all high-schoolers were assigned to read these 3 novels, they would have terrific discussions about literature, history and government....this novel above all drives home the fact of continuous betrayal and treachery when you are at the top. Politics is just so darned messy!! And yet Napoleon and Josephine both come across as extremely human characters who are sometimes humane, sometimes not. Gulland has created classics in the best sense.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Claudia Weaver on January 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
"The Last Great Dance on Earth" captivated the insecurities and emotions of Josephine Bonaparte. As Sandra Gulland writes the voice of Josephine, she depicts her fears of Napoleon's military conquests as well as her inability to produce an heir to the French throne. This engrossing novel brings an insightful look into the reign of Napoleon Boaparte that could only be experienced through his wife. The Last Great Dance on Earth was captivating, most other historical fiction novels are very dry and slow. This story captured the reader in the beginnng and Josephine's experiences kept the interest level high. From the introduction of historical character to events that shaped this time period, Gulland shows the human side of history. She allows the reader to experience early nineteenth century France though the vivid description of the beautiful castles. "The light streaming in the brightly coloured windows, the enormous tapestries, the painted backdrops, pigeons swooping high above the glittering crowd." The language Gulland used captivated the reader's heart as she concluded the marriage between Napoleon and Josephine. The words she used in their divorce ceremony brought tears to my eyes. Napoleon's declaration began, "She has adorned fifteen years of my life. The memory of those years will be forever inscribed in my heart." These words brought tears to my eyes and Josephine concluded, "Everything I have comes from his kindness. The dissolution of my marriage will make no change in the feelings of my heart." This book will remain one of my favorites. A beautiful end to a beautiful trilogy, Gulland made this period of history a page turning suspense.Read more ›
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