Josephine: A Life of the Empress
When in 1804, Josephine Bonaparte knelt before her husband Napoleon to receive the imperial diadem, few in the vast crowd of onlookers were aware of ... Show synopsis When in 1804, Josephine Bonaparte knelt before her husband Napoleon to receive the imperial diadem, few in the vast crowd of onlookers were aware of the dark secrets behind the imperial facade. Josephine appeared alluring, wealthy and doted upon by her remarkable husband, the conqueror of Europe. In actuality, Josephine's life was far darker, for her celebrated allure was fading, her wealth was compromised by massive debt and her marriage was corroded by infidelity and abuse. Born a Creole in Martinque, sent to France in her teens to marry and save the family fortunes, Josephine was adventurous and above all hardy - a survivor in a hazardous time. Soon separated from a dissolute, spiteful husband, she made her way in the salons of Paris, a member of the shadow-world of respectability. Confined to the worst prison in Paris during the revolution and condemned to death, she miraculously escaped her fate and went on to marry the rising star of the Directory, Napoleon Bonaparte, the man who in a few short years, with Josephine at his side, became Emperor of France. This volume brings to life the complex, charming, ever-resilient Josephine, from the sensual richness of her childhood in the tropics to her final lonely days at Malmaison.