"A romance of epic proportions." — Publisher's Weekly
30 five-star reviews on Amazon.com
"I WAS NOT BORN FOR SUCH GRANDEUR."— Joséphine, in a letter to her daughter Hortense
The Last Great Dance on Earth charts the rise and fall of a great Empire and a steadfast love that outlasts treachery, exile and even death. As First Consul of France and then Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte will govern most of Europe in a domain to rival that of Charlemagne a thousand years earlier. Beside him is Joséphine: confidante, lover, friend and talisman.
But their passionate union is troubled from within, as Joséphine is unable to produce an heir, and from without, as England makes war against France and Napoleon's Corsican clan makes war against his wife. Richly leavened with period detail, The Last Great Dance on Earth is a completely engrossing, passionate and tragic love story.
The Last Great Dance on Earth is the final novel in an incredible trilogy inspired by the life of Joséphine Bonaparte.
For more information on the author and her work, go to www.SandraGulland.com.
'Riveting . . . Never has this near-mythic figure seemed more human.' — Robin Maxwell, author of The Queen's Bastard
'Wonderfully evocative of a vanished time and place. A guilty pleasure — at each page you say, "just one more" and keep on. Josephine, what a woman! What a love! What a life!' — Margaret George, author of The Memoirs of Cleopatra: A Novel
'In all of time, no love story surpasses that of Napoleon and Josephine. The Last Great Dance on Earth draws us into the heart and soul of their story, capturing all the agony and glory.' — Faith Sullivan, author of The Cape Ann
'Gulland brings to life an exciting period in Europe’s past through the eyes of one of its most famous women. . . . This meticulously researched tale stands alone as a romance of epic proportions.' — Publishers Weekly
'…the gripping narrative offers a uniquely feminine perspective on a tumultuous historical era….A vividly detailed fictional portrait of one of the most fascinating women to influence the course of history.' — Booklist
'Gulland concludes her trilogy of the life of Empress Josephine with the dash and excitement that marked the first volume….Even those who have not read Gulland's previous volumes will be drawn into these final chapters of Josephine's story.' — Library Journal
'Gulland’s account of this pivotal moment in French history springs to life with gritty and heart-wrenching pathos.' — USA Today
'A convincing, tender portrait of Josephine B., the woman who was a match for one of history’s most titanic figures.' — The Globe and Mail
'Entertaining and insightful. Gulland got it right: the story is addictive.' — The Toronto Star
Gulland completes her elaborately detailed Josephine Bonaparte trilogy (The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.; Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe), taking up the story in 1800 at Paris's Tuileries Palace, where 36-year-old Josephine and her younger husband, Napoleon (who has just become France's First Consul), are desperately trying to conceive. Despite numerous questionable "cures," Josephine remains barren. Her daughter from her first marriage, Hortense, marries Napoleon's brother and produces a son Napoleon wishes to adopt in order to establish a hereditary succession. When this plan fails, advisers claim Napoleon's authority has been weakened. As Napoleon and Josephine rise to power, ultimately being crowned emperor and empress, Gulland does a remarkable job of showing how rumors and disloyalties changed the course of history. Under increasing pressure to produce an heir, Napoleon divorces the heartbroken Josephine, calling the act a noble sacrifice they both must make for the Empire. Napoleon remarries, and a son is born; soon after, he leaves for his unsuccessful invasion of Russia, his last campaign before abdication and exile. Josephine dies shortly thereafter, in 1814, ending her life with thoughts of Napoleon. Florid prose floods the tale, and the diary style of the first-person narrative is limiting, but neither of these problems seriously handicaps the novel. Gulland brings to life an exciting period in Europe's past through the eyes of one of its most famous women. The popularity of the first two installments assures an avid following, but this meticulously researched tale stands alone as a romance of epic proportions.