- Series: Phoenix Press
- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Phoenix (October 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1842125214
- ISBN-13: 978-1842125212
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.8 x 7.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,578 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Désirée Paperback – October 1, 2002
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An astonishing story told with verve, and a swift, fluent and deeply feminine charm. The Napoleonic background is vivid and accurate * Evening Standard * An epic love story ... irresistible reading * Chicago Tribune * The most fascinating historical novel since Gone With the Wind * Boston Post *
About the Author
Annemarie Selinko was born in Vienna in 1914. She was a successful journalist and novelist. In 1938 she moved to Copenhagen, and subsequently lived in Stockholm, Paris and London, before returning to Copenhagen. Desiree was a huge best-seller with over a million copies sold and in 1956 was turned into a film starring Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons. Annemarie Selinko died in Copenhagen in 1986.
Top customer reviews
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Knowing I sometimes enjoy historical romance novels, my mother recommended Desiree to me. Now that I have read Annemarie Selinko's masterpiece, I would categorize it more as a sweeping historical novel than a romance. True, there are some tender scenes between Napoleon and Desiree (I melted when he sent her the sable to keep her warm), but it is hardly a romance.
The first person narration was a bit annoying at times - and the writer clearly shifted POV several times per chapter, but still, it is well written and amazingly well researched (only a few errors that I could spot, one of which being the mention of inbreeding being the cause of medical problems. This was something that wasn't fully realized or appreciated until the reign of Queen Victoria with her hemophilia passing genes).
Read this book if you enjoy sweeping historicals, especially those set in the Napoleonic time period.
I must confess though, I much preferred Sandra Gulland's novels about Josephine B. They give the reader a good taste of Napoleon, with a far more accurate take on the players of the time. (Selinko, for instance, paints a picture of Napoleon's mother as being hard-working and ever-so-loving, even though that is in contradiction to recent note-worthy biographies about the Bounapartes).
In the end, this book was a great read. I really had a hard time putting it down, despite my few misgivings.