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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.
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.
Fantastic trilogy! I enjoyed reading these books so much and highly recommend for anyone who loves historical based fiction.Published 17 hours ago by C Peters
Sandra Gulland has given readers an exquisitely detailed glimpse into the life of one of history's most generous and gracious figures, Josephine Bonaparte. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Danetta H. Kellar
I loved all the Ms Gulland's books about Josephine. I knew very little about Josephine other than her connection to Napoleon before reading these books, I quickly became engrossed... Read morePublished 4 months ago by ChrisAn