Sunday, May 27, 2007

#39 - The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. by Sandra Gulland

This is the first book in a trilogy about Josephine Bonaparte. Sandra Gulland wrote the series after decades of research into Josephine's life.
The first book follows Josephine's life from her childhood in Martinique to the age of 32, when she marries Napoleon in France. The book is written in diary form, and has occasional footnotes about history or background.
I very much enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down and read it in one day. Gulland allows her readers to imagine what it was like for Josephine to have to leave Martinique because of slave revolts, the dangers of living in France during the Revolution, and the hardships she survived during the economic problems in France following the revolution.
There are many books that outline the rise and fall of Napoleon and his marriage to Josephine, but I had never looked into the history from Josephine's point of view. And I didn't know much about her background before she married Napoleon.
If you are interested in the history of Napoleon and Josephine, or of Revolutionary France, then this trilogy is definitely a must-read. Gulland is a skilled writer, and definitely did a lot of research before writing this trilogy.
50 Book Challenge 2007: 19/50


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