The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.


Author:  Sandra Gulland
Title:  The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Publication Date: 1995
Number of Pages: 436
Geographical Settings:  France, Martinique
Time Period:  1777-1796
Series:  Josephine B. Trilogy

Plot Summary:
Marie-Joseph-Rose de Tascher de al Pagerie, later known as Josephine Bonaparte, Empresses of the French, was born on an island, Martinique.  While living there, a Voodoo priestess told her she would be Queen.  This is the story of before she was queen, before she married Napoleon, when she was simply known as Rose.  In Martinique, Rose grows up on a sugar plantation and the age of 14 she is betrothed to a man in France, and begins her adventure.  Her husband Alexedre de Beauharnais soon joins the revolution, and Rose is caught up in the chaos. After her husband dies she meets another powerful politician, Napoleon.  The first in a trilogy about Josephine, this vivid depiction of Josephine’s life, told through diary-entries is an engrossing tale of romance, revolution, struggle, and determination.

Appeal:  compelling, engrossing, dramatic, lifelike, vivid, well-developed, realistic, character-centered, family-centered, layered, multiple plot lines, rich and famous, detailed setting, details of the French Revolution, historical details, political, intimate, rural, urban, candid, romantic, accessible, conversational, unpretentious

Subject Headings:  Josephine, Empress of the French, 1763-1814; Napoleon, Emperor of the French, 1769-1821; Women rulers – diaries; Biographical novels; Marriages of convenience; Political corruption

Similar Authors and Works:
Fiction:  Emilie’s Voice by Susanne Dunlap (French History, French royalty, rich and famous) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory (royalty, romantic, dramatic) The Dark Queen by Susan Carroll (royalty, romantic, political)
Non-Fiction:  The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon’s Josephine by Andrea Stuart (historical details, intimate, layered) Josephine: Napoleon’s Incomparable Empress (historical details, intimate, Napoleon)  The Days of the French Revolution by Christopher Hibbert (historical details, details of the French Revolution, layered)

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