The acclaimed biography of Josephine Bonaparte, the Caribbean-born Creole who became the first wife of Napoleon and Empress of France.
One of the most remarkable women of the modern era, Josephine Bonaparte was born Rose de Tasher on her family’s sugar plantation in Martinique. She embodied all the characteristics of a true Creole—sensuality, vivacity, and willfulness.
Rescued from near starvation, she grew to epitomize the wild decadence of post-revolutionary Paris. It was there that Josephine first caught the eye of Napoleon Bonaparte. A true partner to Napoleon, she was equal parts political adviser, hostess par excellence, confidante, and passionate lover.
Josephine managed to be in the forefront of every important episode of her era’s turbulent history: from the rise of the West Indian slave plantations that bankrolled Europe’s rapid economic development, to the decaying of the ancien régime, to the French Revolution itself, from which she barely escaped the guillotine.
Using diaries and letters, Andrea Stuart brings her so utterly to life that we finally understand why Napoleon’s last word before dying was the name he had given her: Josephine.
“A comprehensive and truly empathetic biography. Andrea Stuart, who was raised in the Caribbean, combines scholarly distance with a genuine attempt to understand her heroine.” —The Washington Post