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26 Reviews
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating.
After a hesitant beginning, I found that I was captivated by the story and was reluctant to put it down. I've learnt more about 'revolutionary France' reading this book, than ever before and I was entertained in the process. I was disappointed when I reached the end but thrilled to discover that it is only the first book in a trilogy. I can't wait for the others!
Published on 10 May 2000

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously shallow
I'm afraid I agree with the reviewer below who calls this history lite - this is romantic and frivolous with the emotional intensity of a bar of chocolate, and just as delicious! Don't go into this expecting anything more and you'll enjoy the book hugely.

Written as Josephine's (Rose) private journal, this whips through the years from her adolescence in...
Published on 23 Sep 2007 by Roman Clodia


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting smooth read, 6 Oct 2012
By 
This review is from: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B (Paperback)
I found this a very exciting smooth read and after every session looked forward to coming back for more. Takes is from Josephine aka Roses Tascher's ' childhood on the Caribbean island of Martinique through her troubles marriage to Alexandre De Beuharnais and pre-Revolutionary France, the French Revolution and the horrors of the Reign of Terror in which the protagonist' husband is executed and she herself escapes execution only by Robespierre's death and the Thermidore coup.
Follows on with sharp insight into post Terror France and the time of the directory, with intimate portrayals of French politcians of the time such as Barras, Tallien and Fouche
It is towards the end of the novel where we get to explore the courtship of Rose by the brash young general Napoleon Buonoparte, the protege of the leading figure of the Directory, Deputy Barras.
The book makes one feel excited to see into the private life and thoughts of Josephine, but he way the politics and society of the France of the time (as well as the focus on the slave rebellion on Martinique inspired by the revolution) is analysed and presented in a worm's eye view. What we see in the heroin (She is named Rose for most of the novel but as we know her by Josephime B that is her name in the title because not many of us know her as Rose Tascher) is complex woman, a proud libertine but with a thread of strong compassion for the impoverished masses and horror at the depredations of the terror.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating., 10 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B (Paperback)
After a hesitant beginning, I found that I was captivated by the story and was reluctant to put it down. I've learnt more about 'revolutionary France' reading this book, than ever before and I was entertained in the process. I was disappointed when I reached the end but thrilled to discover that it is only the first book in a trilogy. I can't wait for the others!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful, 15 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B (Paperback)
this was an excellent book - recommended to anyone. the details from her early life up to after the french revolution are clear and concise... you feel like you are actually there. i started and finished this book in one day, and i am eagerly awaiting to read the next two books in the trilogy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely, Informative Novel, 21 July 2012
I don't think there's anyone who knows and loves Josephine Bonaparte as much as Sandra Gulland. Her level of passion and detailed description are at the highest level, and swept me away while I read this trilogy. Among my very favorite historical novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The gripping diaries of Josephine B., 8 Feb 2012
By 
This review is from: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B (Paperback)
The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. is the first novel in the Josephine B. Trilogy. It covers the period from when Rose (Joséphine became her name after her marriage to Napoleon) was fourteen years old in Martinique, her unhappy marriage to Alexandre de Beauharnais and the terror of the French Revolution, ending with her marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte.

I loved seeing Rose transform from a gawky teenager on the island to a survivor of the Revolution and I felt for her as she navigated the French Revolution in all its horror. I read this series ten years ago and was absolutely enthralled by it, numerous times I have returned to the series and even it has not lost its magic. It's probably best enjoyed with a slight background knowledge of the French Revolution, but it's not necessary and didn't impact on my enjoyment first time round (there are notes at the bottom to help and to add a sense of historical perspective which is really useful). I found it refreshing that much of the story is given in hints and reading between the lines, it increased the realism of the diary form for me, however this is personal taste. Sandra Gulland has created the best diary form historical fiction I have read so far.

Highly recommenced along with the Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, and The Last Great Dance on Earth, the next novels in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leaves you wanting more..., 26 Aug 2010
By 
K. sowden (Toronto, ON) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B (Paperback)
This is light on historical detail but I could not put it down...I completely drowned in it....who knew she had a life and a half before Bonaparte arrived on the scene....loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Josephine, 27 July 2010
By 
Mr. William V. Cross (St Helens Lancs) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B (Paperback)
This is the first in a series I have already so I was anxious to buy it. The copy was perfect, delivery prompt, so just as I ordered.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A proper Heroine of the times!!, 30 Aug 2007
By 
Cathy Jones "Wales Forever" (Crewe, Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B (Paperback)
I absolutely loved this book, and egarly searched all of chesters shops to find the other two in stalments which I have now purchased thanks to the wonderful Amazon!!

This book is set out in diary form DO NOT let this put you off, it is like Lady Josephine is telling you the story herself. It is wonderfully insightful into the French Revolution and how she coped with it. The famous "real" characters you feel you are actually getting to know like making a relationship with a famous person you admire. The book is an exceptional hooker!! page after page something happens that makes you read more wondering what will happen to her, which I assure you, you will come to love her. From her struggles of her first marriage to Alexander and their loveless ups and downs, her imprisonment to meeting her Napoleon, who I might add is honestly described, Sandra does not once force her opinions on the you.

Please read it, its such a wonderful book and I can say got me very interested in the French Revolution. It will be time well spent reading this!!! Well done Sandra Gulland!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and personal history of Josephine Bonaparte, 6 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B (Paperback)
At first glance, I feared an autobiography of a historical person would be dull. Far from it, this book is pacy and deeply involving. It is written in diary form,giving an intimate insight into revolutionary France and a personal view of the younger life of Josephine that is not popularly known about. I couldn't put it down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an extraordinary book, 11 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I think The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. is an amazing novel. I read it twice, in awe. It has moved me like no other book I have read. I am recommending it to my family and friends.
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The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B
The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B by Sandra Gulland (Paperback - 2 Sep 1999)
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