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Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine by Kate Williams

By Kate Williams

Their love used to be mythical, their ambition flagrant and unashamed. Napoleon Bonaparte and his spouse, Josephine, got here to energy in the course of the most turbulent sessions within the historical past of France. the tale of the Corsican soldier’s terrific upward thrust has been good documented. Now, during this spellbinding, luminous account, Kate Williams attracts again the curtain at the lady who beguiled him: her humble origins, her exorbitant appetites, and the tragic flip of occasions that resulted in her undoing.

Born Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de los angeles Pagerie at the Caribbean island of Martinique, the lady Napoleon may later name Josephine was once the last word survivor. She persevered a loveless marriage to a French aristocrat—executed throughout the Reign of Terror—then slightly escaped the guillotine blade herself. Her near-death adventure simply fueled Josephine’s ambition and heightened her choice to discover a guy who may possibly finance and maintain her. notwithstanding no vintage attractiveness, she quick constructed a name as essentially the most fascinating girls at the continent.

In 1795, she met Napoleon. The appeal used to be mutual, speedy, and excessive. Theirs was once an often-tumultuous union, roiled by means of their pursuit of different fanatics yet intensely taken with energy and good fortune. Josephine was once Napoleon’s ideal consort and the thing of nationwide fascination. jointly they conquered Europe. Their extravagance was once exceptional, even through the factors of Versailles. yet she couldn't produce an inheritor. Sexual obsession introduced them jointly, yet chilly organic fact tore them apart.

Gripping in its immediacy, fascinating in its element, Ambition and hope is a real story of hope, heartbreak, and progressive turmoil, engagingly written through considered one of England’s so much praised younger historians. Kate Williams’s searing portrait of this pleasing and complicated girl will ultimately raise Josephine Bonaparte to the historic prominence she merits.

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Extra resources for Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte

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Et le vent doux ride l’humble bassin, Et la lueur du soleil qu’atténue L’ombre des bas tilleuls de l’avenue Nous parvient bleue et mourante à dessein. Trompeurs exquis et coquettes charmantes, Cœurs tendres, mais affranchis du serment, Nous devisons délicieusement, Et les amants lutinent les amantes, De qui la main imperceptible sait Parfois donner un soufflet, qu’on échange Contre un baiser sur l’extrême phalange Du petit doigt, et comme la chose est Immensément excessive et farouche, On est puni par un regard très sec, Lequel contraste, au demeurant, avec La moue assez clémente de la bouche.

Et le vent doux ride l’humble bassin, Et la lueur du soleil qu’atténue L’ombre des bas tilleuls de l’avenue Nous parvient bleue et mourante à dessein. Trompeurs exquis et coquettes charmantes, Cœurs tendres, mais affranchis du serment, Nous devisons délicieusement, Et les amants lutinent les amantes, De qui la main imperceptible sait Parfois donner un soufflet, qu’on échange Contre un baiser sur l’extrême phalange Du petit doigt, et comme la chose est Immensément excessive et farouche, On est puni par un regard très sec, Lequel contraste, au demeurant, avec La moue assez clémente de la bouche.

Le Bonheur a marché côte à côte avec moi; Mais la FATALITÉ ne connaît point de trêve: Le ver est dans le fruit, le réveil dans le rêve, Et le remords est dans l’amour: telle est la loi. —Le Bonheur a marché côte à côte avec moi. 24 Nevermore Come, my poor heart, come, old friend true and tried, Repaint your triumph’s arches, raised anew; Smoke tinsel altars with stale incense; strew Flowers before the chasm, gaping wide; Come, my poor heart, come, old friend true and tried. Cantor revivified, sing God your hymn; Hoarse organ-pipes, intone Te Deums proud; Make up your aging face, youth wrinkle-browed; Bedeck yourself in gold, wall yellow-dim; Cantor revivified, sing God your hymn.

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