Week 3

Josephine helped make Napoleon what he became.  She was well connected, experienced, and much more sophisticated in the ways of French politics than he was.  Together they created a brilliant couple whose obssession was the advancement of their family


Andrea Stuart,

The Rose of Martinique,

Grove Press paperback,

ISBN 0802142028

From Booklist:

Even though the lives of lovely Josephine and her insanely ambitious second husband, Napoleon Bonaparte, have become legendary, Stuart takes a fresh and revelatory approach to portraying the Creole from Martinique who became empress of France by emphasizing both Josephine and Napoleon's outsider status as emigres from small islands. She was from a lush Caribbean wonderland poisoned by slavery, and he hailed from Corsica, and both were greatly underestimated when they first arrived in Paris. Writing with magnetic animation and vivid specificity, Stuart tracks the astonishing vicissitudes of Rose's life (Napoleon called her Josephine) as she evolved from a gauche country girl into a "seasoned voluptuary," a "high priestess of style," and the famously kind, poised, and diplomatic wife of the most powerful man in Europe. Part and parcel of this gripping tale of love, adversity, loss, and survival is the story of the rapidly fluctuating status of women in France and the terrors of the French Revolution, harsh realities Stuart chronicles with acumen and finesse. But what makes this altogether moving biography truly unforgettable are Stuart's deep insights into Josephine's devotion to beauty, adaptability, compassion, and capacity for joy and love. Donna Seaman Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.