The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. : A Novel

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9780002243926: The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. : A Novel

'You will be unhappily wed. You will be widowed. You will be Queen.' To fourteen-year-old Rose, eldest daughter of a poor plantation landlord, the fortune teller's prophecy is both thrilling and laughable. Poorly educated and without a dowry, it seems unlikely she will find any husband, much less a king. But history tells a different tale. In this beautifully crafted novel, Sandra Gulland pulls back the veil of history to reveal the extraordinary life of the woman who will one day be known as Josephine Bonaparte, wife of the emperor who will rule all France.

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Since completing high school history, few of us have managed to keep straight the details of the French Revolution. Beyond suggestions of eating cake and the effectiveness of the guillotine, this sordid time period has remained--for many--somewhat obscure. Now, through the novel The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., not only do we learn of the many differences between Robespierre and Rousseau, but we gain insight into the marriage of one of history's greatest political couples: Napoleon and Josephine.

Standing beside the charismatic Napoleon, Josephine's own importance and fascinating history have often been overshadowed. In a fictionalized account of Josephine's diaries and her correspondence, author Sandra Gulland has shed light on Josephine's pre-Napoleon life. This, the first of three books about Josephine, covers her childhood in Martinique, her first marriage, the birth of her children, her life during the revolution, and her marriage to Napoleon.

A poor Creole outsider as well as a rising socialite, Josephine experienced both the horrors of imprisonment and the privilege of connections. Utilizing these different perspectives, Gulland takes special care to bring forth the reality of life in late 18th-century France. Though she can only theorize on Josephine's emotions and desires, Gulland's talented writing and the restrained use of footnotes keep the reader properly informed on pertinent details, whether they be obscure political events or voodoo beliefs. While professional historians may bristle at the artistic license Gulland employs, most readers will find her novel a satisfying and engaging introduction to this dramatic period. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien

From the Inside Flap:

The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. is a sweeping tale of romance, heartbreak, and political intrigue set during the tumultuous French Revolution. Combining meticulously researched history and superb storytelling, author Sandra Gulland provides an intimate look into the lives of the men and women behind the Revolution while chronicling Josephine Bonaparte's perilous rise from an innocent girl to one of the most sophisticated and powerful women in history.

In this stunning audiobook, Louise Pitre portrays Josephine both as a young girl and a young woman with all of the panache and subtlety required for such a role.

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Sandra Gulland
Published by HarperCollins Canada, Limited (1995)
ISBN 10: 000224392X ISBN 13: 9780002243926
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
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Murray Media
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Book Description HarperCollins Canada, Limited, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11000224392X

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