The Secret Life of Josephine by Carolly Erickson
Napoleon's Bird of Paradise

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Synopsis

The bestselling author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette and The Last Wife of Henry VIII returns with an enchanting novel about one of the most seductive women in history: Josephine Bonaparte, first wife of Napoleon. Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, Josephine had an exotic Creole appeal that would ultimately propel her to reign over an empire as wife of the most powerful man in the world.  But her life is a story of ambition and danger, of luck and a ferocious will to survive.  Married young to an arrogant French aristocrat who died during the Terror, Josephine also narrowly missed losing her head to the guillotine.  But her extraordinary charm, sensuality, and natural cunning helped her become mistress to some of the most powerful politicians in post-Revolutionary France.  Soon she had married the much younger General Bonaparte, whose armies garnered France an empire that ran from Europe to Africa and the New World and who crowned himself and his wife Emperor and Empress of France.  He dominated on the battlefield and she presided over the worlds of fashion and glamor.  But Josephine's heart belonged to another man--the mysterious, compelling stranger who had won her as a girl in Martinique.
 

About Carolly Erickson

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New York Times bestselling author CAROLLY ERICKSON has written twenty-eight critically acclaimed, prize-winning biographies, histories, and a recent series of fictional historical entertainments. Her range is wide, her audience worldwide. She lives in Washington and Hawaii.
 
Published September 4, 2007 by St. Martin's Press. 356 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Travel, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Secret Life of Josephine

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In Erickson's fanciful retelling, Empress Josephine personifies, ahead of her time, the "head for business/bod for sin" dichotomy.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Secret Life of Josephine:...

Publishers Weekly

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Erickson's third foray into what she calls, in a note to the reader, historical entertainment (following The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette and The Last Wife of Henry the VIII) presents a compel

Sep 03 2007 | Read Full Review of The Secret Life of Josephine:...

Publishers Weekly

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As Madame Bonaparte, Josephine's public life and private life alike are filled with controversy as she copes with the scrutiny of the public eye, the ire of Bonaparte's family, and Bonaparte himself, whose feelings for her range from codependency to contempt.

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Examiner

Josephine had a life before her marriage to Napoleon, a life in her island home of Martinique, a life in her first marriage to a difficult man, a life as a mother to two children, and a life as a woman who charmed two men who adored her desperately, Josephine had a life that was separate and spec...

Jun 11 2010 | Read Full Review of The Secret Life of Josephine:...

Night Owl Suspense

The Secret Life of Josephine - Napoleon's Bird of Paradise is a good mix of passion, history, fun and a different insight on the lives of historical figures we've all read or heard about before.

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