Napoleon and Josephine: The Improbable Marriage

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9780025178106: Napoleon and Josephine: The Improbable Marriage

Carefully researched by an authority on French history, a dual portrait of two intriguing, flamboyant figures illuminates their personal lives, the social and cultural context in which they lived, and the reversal of roles in their marriage. 20,000 first printing.

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From Publishers Weekly:

This vibrant dual biography uses the marriage of Napoleon and Josephine "as the frame through which to view a time of cataclysmic change." The book's wealth of detail about the relationship of the ever-intriguing couple offers a rich panorama of the exhilarating and violent time on which they left their mark. The author, who is the widow of David Bruce, onetime U.S. ambassador to France, draws on a multitude of eyewitness accounts and other sources to present a full-bodied Napoleon?his contempt for the masses ("morality is for the upper classes, the gallows for the rabble"), his ardor for the emotionally shallow Josephine and the opportunism that led him to divorce her ("I like only those people who are useful to me?but only as long as they are useful"), as well as his military victories and defeats. Josephine is no less distinctive, with her charm, bad teeth, seductiveness, many affairs and extravagances and her reluctant but growing love for Napoleon. Vivid portraits abound, including those of Madame de Stael, Talleyrand and Alexander I of Russia; and Paris comes alive with its noises, smells, fashions and salons. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

After dozens of biographies on both Napoleon and Josephine, running the gamut from love to hate, from scholarly to sensational, author and noted authority on French history Bruce has chosen to add to the French history shelf with her own title emphasizing this famous pair's marriage in relation to the turbulent social time in which they lived. Well traveled and well versed in French manners and mores, she adds a graceful, personal, comfortably detailed touch to her much-visited topic. From Napoleon's early passion for a reluctant Josephine, to their years of triumph, to his second marriage in search of an heir and political dynasty (which ironically was more Josephine's than his, since descendants from her children by her first marriage made her rival Queen Victoria for title "Grandmother of Europe"), Bruce gives the reader a satisfying look at a still fascinating couple. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
-?Katherine Gillen, Luke AFB Lib., Ariz.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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