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Josephine: A Life of the Empress Paperback – 21 May 2004


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Product details

  • Paperback: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Robson Books Ltd; New edition edition (21 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861056370
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861056375
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,161,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Carolly Erickson is one of the most accomplished and successful historical biographers writing in English.' Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Carolly Erickson, a prize-winning historian and biographer, became a full-time writer in 1970. She has written many historical biographies including To the Scaffold: The Life of Marie Antoinette, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Our Tempestuous Day, Great Catherine, The First Elizabeth and Great Harry, all published by Robson Books.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 May 1999
Format: Hardcover
Carrolly Erickson is a talented researcher and author, and her new biography on Empress Josephine is another very good read. I have a problem, however, with Erickson's habit of falling a little too much in love with some of her less admirable subjects. Josephine, while an exceptional character study, does not deserve the relentless emphasis Erickson places on her few redeeming qualities. Josephine was, in fact, a shallow and self-indulgent liar, swindler, whore, and manipulator extraordinaire. Although Erickson acknowledges these traits, she plays them down by repeatedly referencing Josephine's ingenuousness, compassion, and victim qualities, none of which are visible without Erickson's careful coaching. Erickson displayed this same oh-come-now-she's-not-so-bad-if-you'll-only-try approach with Mary Tudor ("Bloody Mary"). The book ended, appropriately, with Josephine's funeral. But I wanted to know what happened to her two children, Napolean's new wife, and even the loathsome Bonapart relatives. These were not peripheral characters; they were integral components of Josephine's life and a quick wrap-up sketch of each would have made the ending much more satisfying. I'm glad I read this book and recommend it to other biography and history lovers. Even so it's difficult to resist a spectacular kind of repugnance towards Josephine, notwithstanding Erickson's unfortunate and obvious urging to the contrary.
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By James Gallen TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 16 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
"Josephine: Life of the Empress" introduces the reader to one of the most interesting characters of one of the most turbulent periods of history. Born to a Creole family in Martinique, Josephine relocated to Metropolitan France where she married to a man who would die on the Guillotine. Herself in danger of death during the Revolution, she survived to become the wife of the Corsican officer, Napoleon Bonaparte. Rising with him to the pinnacle of French society, Josephine, the Creole commoner, would rule alongside him as Empress. During her life with Napoleon she would endure the hostile machinations of his family while walking a tight rope to maintain her position. Unable to produce an heir, Josephine was forced to renounce her marriage and retire to a less favored, but still exalted, position. Although divorced, the tie between Josephine and her Emperor was never totally severed.

This is a many splendored work. Part love story, part biography and part history, it is attractive to many types of readers. While following Josephine through her life, the reader learns much about the era during which she lived and reigned; a France of colony, Revolution and Empire. Author Carolly Erickson's writing holds attention with the skill of a master. Enjoy, appreciate, savor!
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Format: Hardcover
I have read several historical biographies by Carolly Erickson, and enjoyed them. This one is no exception. It is easy to read and chock-full of historical information. I also recommend that if you can get your hands on copies of "To The Scaffold, The Life of Marie Antoinette" and "Mistress Anne, The Exceptional Life of Ann Boleyn," you definitely do so!
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Format: Hardcover
I have read several historical biographies by Carolly Erickson, and enjoyed them. This one is no exception. It is easy to read and chock-full of historical information. I also recommend that if you can get your hands on copies of "To The Scaffold, The Life of Marie Antoinette" and "Mistress Anne, The Exceptional Life of Ann Boleyn," you definitely do so!
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