Friday, September 07, 2007

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

Everyone knows about Napoleon, the guy who wanted to take over the world and conquer everything. Well, what do people know about his first wife, Josephine? Not much, really. She’s always in the wings; no one ever thinks about her and her past. When Josephine was a girl, her name was Rose. It actually was Rose until she married Napoleon—he changed it because she needed to sound more French. Rose lived in a tropical paradise, moving to Paris when she was a teenager to marry her cousin. Eventually, her husband dies in “The Terror”, with Rose narrowly escaping the guillotine. After the Terror, Rose marries Napoleon, a famous general with a commanding presence. After that, the rest is history.

Carrolly Erickson made history come to life, but in a new way. I have always heard of Napoleon, but not his wife. She really influenced Napoleon in ways I didn’t think of. Carrolly Erickson’s novel made me think of all these things, and I learned much more about the time period. Because Erickson wrote so descriptively, I was never left in the dark how bad things were during “The Terror” and Napoleon’s rule. Erickson has other historical novels about wives of great rulers, and since I enjoyed The Secret Life of Josephine so much, I have ordered copies of her other books.

Content: Josephine slept with a lot of guys in this book, and Erickson described it. There is also crude language.

Rating (0 - 10 scale): 7

Reviewer Age: 15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Boothwyn, PA United States

No comments: