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Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical > Biographical > 0312386095
  1. The Secret Life of Josephine: Napoleon's Bird of Paradise
    The Secret Life of Josephine: Napoleon's Bird of Paradise
    The Secret Life of Josephine: Napoleon's Bird of Paradise
    The Secret Life of Josephine: Napoleon's Bird of Paradise
    Image(s) provided for illustrative purposes and may differ from the actual product
  2. The Secret Life of Josephine: Napoleon's Bird of Paradise

    Delivery: 10-20 Working Days
    Customer Ratings (28 reviews)
    Price R325.00

Additional Information

The bestselling author of The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette and The Last Wife of Henry VIII returns with an enchanting novel about the ambitious, amoral, vulnerable woman who became the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Fashion icon, leader of France's society in the turbulent years of the guillotine and the bloody Napoleonic Wars, the alluring Josephine was a tough survivor―yet she also had a gentle, haunting quality that made her irresistible to her contemporaries, especially to the mysterious, compelling stranger from Martinique who captured her heart.

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Carolly Erickson
St. Martin's Griffin
St. Martin's Griffin
St. Martin's Griffin
St. Martin's Griffin
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

I will agree with the other reviewers who said this book had a lot of sex in it. In fact it seemed like the book should have been entitled the Secret Sex life of Josephine. Personally, I didn't mind all the sex in the book, but the overall plot, and lack of interesting characters is what doomed this book for me.

I thought the character of Josephine was a little flat. I didn't feel sorry about her situation, though I did feel sorry about her horrible teeth. The Josephine in the novel had no spark, and was dull.

Napoleon seemed whiney, nervous and not what I pictured him to be. Maybe this is how he was in real life? I am unsure. But, if readers are expecting a strong Napoleon this is not the story for them.

The writing was decent enough, but the characters made this book dull. So much more could have been done with it. I'm sorry to say this is the worst historical fiction novel that I have read by Ms. Erickson.

Pass on this one, or loan it... Read more
I have read the other two historical fiction books by Carolly Erickson, and found them entertaining. I was very much anticipating this latest book on Josephine B., because I found her to be intriguing and had read the Sandra Gulland trilogy. For me, after reading that trilogy, this book was almost painful to read. I never connected with Josephine, which is the whole point of writing novels in first person, in my opinion. Also, I found the history sketchy at best-- going to Russia to follow Bonaparte? You have got to be kidding me. Josephine was not only difficult to like, but she was also a bit of a hussy-- the entire book shows her with a million different lovers. I realize that Josephine was more than likely no prude, but the book makes her out to be a prostitute.

If you enjoyed Sandra G's trilogy about Josephine, don't pick up this book. It is not well researched, lacks an endearing protagonist, and belongs in the erotic literature section of the bookstore.
In her "A Note to the Reader" the author does mention that she isn't going for historical accuracy here. In the same note she makes references (Hippolyte Charles, etc.) to show she has done some research, and goes on to explain that the intent of this book is "historical entertainment" and not to create a "historical novel"

Having said that (user sighs) I appreciate the idea, but really disliked the implementation... it just didn't "do" it for me. Like many readers, I had to force myself to finish it. (And I only managed *that* by constantly repeating, "Any resemblance between the fictional characters depicted herein and any real persons living or deceased who bear the same names is totally accidental.")

Josephine, as mentioned in previous reviews, is an uninteresting, unsympathetic character. What *anyone* sees in her is hard to tell. (Oh, wait, she does mention having large breasts; that must be it ;-) After a couple of chapters I hit the point of not caring... Read more
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