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The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte Paperback – December 2, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 212 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"With her first novel, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, author Ruth Hull Chatlien delivers." --Copperfield Review

"This is a laudable work from Chatlien. Her writing resonates with elegance, yet is simple and clear. It is easy to become absorbed in this well-written historical novel."(5 stars)  -- Lit Amri for Reader's Favorite
2014 Reader's Favorite Book Award Gold Medal Winner in Historical Fiction--Personage

Meticulously researched, engrossing in detail, and full of the customs, values, and prejudices of the era, Chatlien's novel brings to life crucial moments in history alongside Betsy's quest for recognition.... A solid example of its genre, this account of one woman's stubborn determination will appeal to romance aficionados and historical devotees alike.
--Publishers Weekly, starred review, May 26, 2014

The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte is well crafted and the research into the life and times of Betsy Patterson is quite good. Author Ruth Hull Chatlien covers early American history, from Baltimore to Niagara Falls,... Between the War of 1812, the Napoleonic Wars and other Waterloo, there is plenty happening around Betsy. She is an engaging character, though flawed in her pursuit of being royalty in more than just name. Overall, the book is an enjoyable look at an active period of American history from a different perspective than one usually finds.
San Francisco Book Review

I highly recommend this book as a wonderful historical read, which like a fine art painting, will be an asset to your shelf of favorite French book collections. Such an amazing book rich with details and another to add to the list of book that speak to the amazing, almost forgotten women of the past.
--Erin Al-Mehairi in Midwest Book Review: Reviewer's Bookwatch

About the Author

Ruth Hull Chatlien has been a writer and editor of educational materials for nearly thirty years, specializing in U.S. and world history. She is the author of Modern American Indian Leaders for middle-grade readers. Her award-winning first novel, The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte, portrays the tumultuous life of Elizabeth “Betsy” Patterson Bonaparte. Her second novel is Blood Moon: A Captive’s Tale.

KIRKUS REVIEWS, kirkusreviews.com

Chatlien’s debut historical fiction celebrates the drive and desires of the real-life Betsy Patterson, a Baltimore merchant’s daughter who married a Bonaparte.

As a child and young woman, Betsy Patterson was precocious, lovely, dismissive of America and not terribly eager to sit around and do what she was told. Of her American suitors, she laments, “Marriage to any one of them would sentence me to a life...bearing child after child until my mind is rusted from disuse.” When a European lieutenant comes to Baltimore, Betsy finds love and opportunity—the lieutenant is, after all, Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon’s youngest brother. The two wed, but when Napoleon refuses to acknowledge the marriage, which may hinder the potential for political alliances, the newly minted Madame Bonaparte discovers that a court life is not so easily attainable for an American girl. Her ambition doesn’t subside, however. Instead, it underlies her new mission to receive recognition of her union, which means pitting herself against the most powerful man in the world. “Napoleon dismissed me as expendable because I am American and a woman,” she says. “Someday I will make him see that he was wrong on both counts.” Betsy is a captivating heroine whose independence and intelligence are given their proper due in Chatlien’s novel. Against the backdrop of world events, such as the battle at Waterloo and the War of 1812, Betsy fights her own, smaller battles, ignoring censure from her stern father and other compatriots who criticize her tenacity and her scandalous French fashions. Her story has suspense, a rapidly moving plot and rich details of 19th-century life, from quotidian tasks to grand parties with Dolley and James Madison at the Presidential Mansion.…It undoubtedly offers compelling insights into the minds of real, deeply engrossing individuals.

A fascinating account of one woman’s fight to defiantly stray from her predetermined path.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
  • Paperback : 495 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1937484165
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1937484163
  • Dimensions : 6 x 1.12 x 9 inches
  • Publisher : Amika Press (December 2, 2013)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 212 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
212 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

Romance Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Great historical read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2020
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Rachel D
4.0 out of 5 stars I was pleased to find this book and the novelised details of ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 17, 2017
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James Davidson
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully crafted novel.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 16, 2015
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Mrs. A. Oliver
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed the Historical Detail
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2017
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Jane Page
3.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious, but not appealing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2017
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