Popular biographer Carolly Erickson creates intimate and richly detailed portraits of her historical subjects. In this book she offers a provocative new perspective on Josephine and her fabled marriage to Napoleon. Josephine's story is as turbulent as the revolutionary era in which she lived-and even more tantalizing than her reputation. Brought up on the lush island of Martinique, Josephine arrived in Paris with a charming Creole lilt, an earthy West Indian manner, and a sweet, unaffected nature. A disastrous first marriage, financial hardship, and the violent realities of the French Revolution-including a stay in the harshest prison in Paris-forged her into a survivor. But would she survive her marriage to the insecure military leader from Corsica who would become Emperor of France? Carolly Erickson skillfully draws on historical evidence to reconstruct the rags to riches story of an extraordinary historical figure.
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by Carolly Erickson
by Diana Gabaldon
"Davina Porter narrates this story of the transformation of young Rose, daughter of an established but impoverished family in Martinique, into Josephine, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Porter seems to savor the French place and people's names that are richly sprinkled throughout. She presents Josephine in sympathetic tones, first as a young innocent badly neglected and mistreated by her first husband, who has little regard for this gauche and provincial wife. Porter's presentation reflects the maturing of Rose through divorce, imprisonment during the French Revolution, and remarkable recovery to position and wealth. Porter never falters in maintaining a sense of engagement and interest in her story, particularly in her primary character. J.E.M. (c) AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine"