Read The Josephine Bonaparte Collection: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, and the Last Great Dance on Earth by Sandra Gulland Online


Just in time for the holidays, here are Sandra Gulland's three gripping, historical novels based on the epic life of Josephine Bonaparte in one gorgeous package. All are works of historical fiction on a grand scale that recount a stirring, unforgettable love story.The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. traces Josephine's early years as she leaves the exotic, lJust in time for the holidays, here are Sandra Gulland's three gripping, historical novels based on the epic life of Josephine Bonaparte in one gorgeous package. All are works of historical fiction on a grand scale that recount a stirring, unforgettable love story.The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. traces Josephine's early years as she leaves the exotic, lush, and remote Martinico for the heart of European society. There she meets Napoleon, whose destiny will prove to be irrevocably intertwined with hers.Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe continues the saga as Josephine awakens to her new life as Mrs. Napoleon Bonaparte and we witness the political intrigues and personal betrayals that result in death, ruin, and victory for those closest to Josephine.The Last Great Dance on Earth is the triumphant final volume that opens four years into the passionate yet troubled union of Josephine and Napoleon. The tumultuous times will, ultimately, drive them apart, culminating in Josephine's greatest tragedy: her divorce from Napoleon and his exile to Elba....

Title : The Josephine Bonaparte Collection: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, and the Last Great Dance on Earth
Author :
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ISBN : 9780743246217
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 1216 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Josephine Bonaparte Collection: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, and the Last Great Dance on Earth Reviews

  • Marita
    2019-02-28 09:17

    Written as if it were a diary, this fictional biography of Joséphine de Beauharnais is very well researched. It is a detailed account which is supported by extensive notes of the facts, as well as quotes from sources.Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie, later known as Joséphine, was born in Martinique. During a time of great unrest in Martinique she left for France where she married Alexandre, the Vicomte de Beauharnais. However, not only was there unrest in Martinique, but also in France where it soon led to the French Revolution and subsequent Terror. Rose, as she was initially known, certainly had a very eventful life and escaped death by a hair's breadth during this time of turmoil. She eventually married Napoléon Bonaparte who changed both their names. He changed his Italian name, Napoleone di Buonaparte, to the French version, and she became Joséphine.The trilogy traces her eventful life from Martinique to France, taking us through the years of the French Revolution, the Terror and her life first with Beauharnais and then with Napoléon during which she became Empress of France. It is a tale of triumph and tragedy, and the protagonists are very well portrayed. No wonder it was named one of the top ten historical novels of the year by BBC History Magazine in the year when it was published, as well as appearing on the Guardian's list of the top ten historical novels of the French Revolution.Recommended.

  • Tara DePompei
    2019-03-19 07:29

    I have finished the first one and have to say that it is one of those rare books where you wonder why your children cannot make their own dinner . . . after all, you need to get back to your book! ;-) Seriously, it was a truly wonderful read. (Thank you, Laurie!) I am on page 200 of the second book now and am also enjoying it. I am not as spellbound as with the first, but it is with me wherever I go . . . I have now finished all three! Amazing. I was bawling at the end at 2 am Sunday night.

  • Katie
    2019-02-27 06:23

    These three books are sooooooo good. They are written in the form of a diary - Josephine Bonaparts diary and so you get a very intimate look into the lives of Jesephine, Napoleon, and their surrounding friends and family. They begin with Josephine as a young girl on the Island of Martinico and take the reader all the way through the Reign of Terror, Napoleons rise to power, his exile, and eventually the death of Josephine. There are tons of fascinating characters and all the stories are so fascinating from the prospective of Josephine.

  • Allana
    2019-02-22 13:14

    History was never my strongest subject. I've never been good at remembering names & dates, and it all seemed so dull to me, I couldn't find the meaning of what I was learning. I think, now, that the problem was not so much that I couldn't remember, but it didn't hold interest for me because it wasn't personal. Josephine B takes care of that (kinda). It does (as the author acknowledges) leave out certain 'characters' and events, in order to simplify the narrative - so it can be contained within the scope of a trilogy. But it uses the personal experiences (good & bad) of Josephine to illuminate the historical events which occurred around (and sometimes through or because of her). Or, maybe it uses the historical events to illuminate her personal experiences - that works too.In any case, it is incredibly readable, and brought me to a level of interest in the subject that no previous teacher could achieve. (I frequently googled questions I had during the reading, or images of the places I was reading about - though I refused to read too much about Napoleon in my research - I didn't want to ruin the story!) Yes, it's fiction! That's ok with me.. it's how the fiction was used - to illustrate the events of Josephine's life, and of Bonaparte & the politics of the time - that fascinated me. And who knows, maybe this imagining of Josephine's diary comes closer to the truth (of her thoughts, feelings, motivations) than we could actually know?PS - who ever thought I would actually cry over the fate of Napoleon? Seriously!

  • Stephanie
    2019-02-26 13:28

    I've already rated and reviewed this book, probably 5 stars and probably a glowing review, b/c it is one of my all-time favourite novels. I've read it 3 times over the past 10 or so years, and I love it the same or more each time. I am just fascinated with this woman who grew up on a sugar plantation in the Caribbean, who married into aristocracy at a young age, who survived an unhappy marriage, being separated at a time when a woman would have very few options to support herself, who survived the Terror in France when King Louis and Queen Marie-Antoinette were jailed and executed, who survived imprisonment, and who eventually met and married Napoleon Bonaparte. Gulland has a gift for making historical fiction come alive, and Josephine is presented as a lovely, strong, powerful, emotional, intelligent woman. It is an amazing book (3 novels in 1) that I highly recommend. You don't need to know about the French Revolution to appreciate this novel, as Gulland provides enough details to educate the reader as well.

  • Laura
    2019-03-24 13:19

    Just finished the first book, and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to wait until I finish the series to write my review, but so far, very enjoyable. Update: Finished the second book in the series. Josephine/Rose is a very charismatic character, and I like the letters/diary format. New Update: I finished the third book. A wonderful series!

  • David
    2019-03-13 10:42

    Few times have I read a trilogy where all three books were equally good. I could not put them down. You will be shocked how much you don't know about the French Revolution and the Bonaparte's. What an eye opener. I bought this hard to find and out of print collection online and gave it to my mother for Christmas.

  • Barb Kelownagurl
    2019-03-10 13:32

    Wow that was a great read. I loved her character and I loved the history.

  • Mirah W
    2019-03-23 11:29

    Book 1- Really fascinating. The format made the reading go quickly...combining diary entries and letters received by Rose (Josephine). Interesting portrayal of Rose's experiences during the French Revolution and the people involved. I thought it was very educational but done in a way that didn't make it seem like I was reading a history book. Rose's life before, during, and after the Revolution truly was fascinating. I kept wondering when Bonaparte would enter the picture and it didn't happen the way I thought it would. Book 1 was full of love, loss, friendship, sacrifice, heartbreak, hope, and following one's destiny. I can't wait to read the next two books in the trilogy.Book 2- Picks up not long after the end of Book 1. Like Book 1, Book 2 is a fast read because of it's format and the writer's ability to pull the reader into Josephine's life very quickly. This installment covers Josephine's life while Napoleon is gaining even more popularity and leaves to fight in Africa. Josephine must deal with the Bonaparte family while Napoleon is away and they are intent on destroying her marriage and making her life difficult. Friendships are tested and Josephine must decide for herself if she really feels love for Napoleon. A believeable tale of Josephine's life...excellent character development of Josephine and her children. I like that the reader gets to know Napoleon through Josephine's eyes...that he can be quirky (at times seeming crazy), passionate, caring, and power-hungry. Their relationship is so interesting...I hope Book 3 is as well thought out and written as Books 1 and 2.Book 3- For me, reading this book was like watching a train wreck...I wanted to look away but I was too absorbed to not watch. In the letters to Josephine and her interactions with Napoleon, the Bonaparte family, her friends, and political confidants it was easy to see that things were quickly coming to a tragic end for the Bonapartes. Greed was rampant amongst Napoleon's siblings and the government seemed to be moving farther and farther away from the Republican ideals. It was heartbreaking to read about Josephine's trials at the end of her life. I wanted so much more for her than she was willing to accept for herself. A wonderfully written conclusion to the trilogy...I highly recommend the series.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-24 06:22

    What can I say about this collection. Utterly addictive. This book still haunts me- but in a good way. I just finished it a couple days ago and I'm hungry for more. I think about Josephine Bonaparte all time. I just loved being a part of her world!First off Sandra Gulland is a polite, accurate and graceful writer. The three books connected perfectly and I really formed a strong connection with every character. After I read this I went on to find another Josephine book that might give me even more- but I left unsatisfied. Sandra's historical accuracy is pristine. The first book sets the tone and introduces you to all of the people in Josephine's life. There's so much French history to learn along the way that it really teaches you about the French Revolution but in a first person perspective. Great and tragic.The second book (or diary, rather) starts with Josephine married to Napoleon (right where the first book left off). Since you've already drawn attachments to the characters in book one, this book really lets yo focus on Josephine and Bonaparte's relationship. As Josephine falls in love with him, so do you! I was in tears! The third book was my favorite. This book is all about the glory and tragedy of her prophecy. I thought I was going to hate the ending, but it made me fall in love with Josephine all over again. I miss her. I think I'm going to read all three of them again- and definitely give them to my girlfriends for Christmas. This book taught me a lot. It taught me about realistic love, motherhood and the importance of gratitude. I highly recommend this trilogy to everyone.

  • Julia
    2019-03-05 08:41

    This trilogy is absolutely amazing! It is written in a very personal diary-style and therefore we see everything through Josephines point of view. It's a true story (though Sandra Gulland definetly changed a few things or maybe 'interpreted' them in her way), and I really love reading books about true happenings.Josephine lived a very adventurous life; she went through great and terrible fases but she always maintained optimistic and strong. And that tone is very dominant throughout the whole story.Sandra Gulland researched a lot for these books (and I think it took her 8 years to finish them off) and while I read it I learned so much about the French Revolution and about people's lifestyle at that time. This book will forever have a special place in my heart, because I really felt everything what Josephine was going through and she became kind of one of my idols. I think she was a very strong woman, very intelligent and also kind of a feminist. Every single person in this book is described in such detail that I feel like I know them.Am I exagerating? I don't know, you have to read it yourself and see if you agree with me or not. For me, it is an amazing trilogy that I will always re-read.

  • Kathleen
    2019-03-13 12:38

    The Josephine B. Trilogy comprises three acclaimed, bestselling novels that draw the reader into the delicate yet passionate relationship between Josephine and Napoleon Bonaparte: The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.; Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe; and The Last Great Dance on Earth. Together they form an irresistible epic, tracing Josephine’ s transformation from impressionable young girl to canny and compassionate wife, to confidante empress and one of the most sophisticated and powerful women in history.Adored by readers of historical fiction, the Josephine novels are a sweeping tale of love and loss, political intrigue and revolution during one of the most tumultuous periods in European history

  • Ingrid
    2019-03-21 06:37

    I've decided we need additional book categories. This particular book, rather than being "historical fiction," would fall under "historical fiction fiction fiction." I'm giving it a 3, therefore, because it was a little too much fiction for my taste. That being said - it DOES inspire me to read more about Napoleon and Josephine, so I may choose one of the books that Gulland recommends in her "Selected Biography" list. Stay tuned! Also - we need a little tag to indicate when we've not finished a book. I read two of this trilogy and am going to stop. Also, didn't and won't finish Marco Polo.

  • Jenn
    2019-02-24 08:16

    This was such a good series! I'm a huge history buff and I especially love stories based on, in or around the French Revolution and English Monarchy. This series chronicles the life of Josephine Bonaparte before her rise as the 1st Empress of France through her married and rise to fame as Napoleon's famous wife. Gulland writes it through Josephine's diary entries which makes for a fast and relatable read. I really enjoyed these books and reccomend them to anyone who is interested in this period of history. I learned some new things about the period that I hadn't before so it kept me riveted!

  • Amy
    2019-03-19 11:35

    These are my favorite books of all time. I learned so much about the French revolution. Also I just love Josephine. I also loved the way the books explained so much about the 1800's. It was even interesting to read about the plays that they would go to. I really wish that some more of my sisters would read them!

  • Lexie
    2019-03-09 09:36

    It took some time to get into the first book, but through most of the first and the second and third, I was very emotionally connected to the characters and the story. I enjoyed learning about Napolean and all that went on in his day. I was mad at him one day and pleased with him the next. I would definitely recomend these ones.

  • Christie
    2019-03-25 10:28

    This is a 3 book series that you will love. It really gives a sweeping portrayl of Josephine's life and a time in history when things were different. These books carry you from her childhood, through turmoil with her first husband, and then into her falling for Napoleon and all that happens.You will really love this series if you like historical fiction.

  • C.M. Mayo
    2019-03-10 13:37

    An epistolary novel that brings the French Revolution and not only Josephine, but many of France's most intriguing personalities to such life, it sometimes seemed hard to believe I was reading fiction. Gorgeous.

  • Diana
    2019-02-23 08:14

    Five stars aren't enough for this trilogy. The series has special meaning to me. After a more than three year dry spell, these were the first three books I not only read, but fairly flew through. I have since become a huge fan of Sandra Gulland.

  • Victoria
    2019-03-22 06:34

    Wow. I could not put this triology down. Napoleon does not appear until the end of book one. However, the life of his wife Josephine is so interesting. This book is written in journal form, so you sense her feelings about what is happening around her. A must read. I bet you can't read just one.

  • Rozonda
    2019-02-24 10:35

    It brings back the positive image of Josephine that was so common in her time and even later (she is affectionately portrayed, for example,in Conan Doyle's historical novels)in a believable and intelligent way. Loved it.

  • Judy
    2019-03-10 07:24

    The historical novel captivated my spite of the number of pages, the book was a relatively quick read. Insightful, historical and credible, I really enjoyed reviewing my French historical knowledge. I want to visit Mal Maison...Josephine's country property outside France.

  • Melinda
    2019-03-05 10:20

    One of the best books I have ever read!!!

  • Daylin
    2019-03-15 06:14

    It was very interesting to see actual letters written from Napoleon to Josephine. It was very good.

  • Micki
    2019-03-24 10:12

    Highly recommend

  • Liz
    2019-03-01 10:38

    Such great historical fiction! I absolutely sped through this entire series.

  • Emilie Weidl
    2019-03-09 06:39

    One of my favourite books of all time. Although it is about a thousand pages long, it is not nearly long enough. I have lent this out to many people who have in turn lent it out to others before returning it to me. My copy is battered and falling apart. This book began my obsession with Napoleon and the French Revolution in general.

  • Amy Pol
    2019-03-21 10:20

    Couldn't put this book down. The amount of historical research Sandra Gulland must have done in order to write this book is incredible!

  • Stephanie Renee
    2019-03-13 08:31

    Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe is the second book of the acclaimed Josephine B. Trilogy. This story begins the year of 1796 in Paris, France just after Josephine's marriage to Napoleon. Written in confessional diary format in the voice of Josephine, it is one of the greatest love stories of all time. This sequel book takes the reader into the heart and head of Josephine as she adjusts to being wed to the obsessively passionate and always willful military leader: Napoleon. We visit the ballrooms and historic palaces as the country shifts from The Age of Fable to the Reign of History. An epic tale of military intrigues and horrors, traveling from France to Italy and to Egypt and back to France, the reader rides the triumphant, and at times the wounded military horse as the last years of the century play out upon France’s grand social, military, and political stage. The writing is poignant and descriptive, surpassing that of the first book of the trilogy. Character relationships and dialogue rule the prose. The scenes and settings are always economically well established. The book’s cover is simple, but not evocative, not doing justice to the story within. The historical footnoting is non-invasive and interesting.I love this story, I love this book. I highly recommend reading this book, this trilogy, to begin to understand the complexities, the tragedies, and the shifts in France at the end of the 18th century.

  • Michelle
    2019-03-03 14:41

    I was very fascinated by this work, an interesting mix of fact and fiction. Sandra Gulland has made me a Josephine B. fan and now I have added her recommended reading to my TBR list. I felt a little overwhelmed by the size of the book; what if it was boring? Well, it was anything but boring, from the beginning, the author draws you in gently and hooks you by the brain. I had to take this eveywhere with me just in case I had an opportunity to squeeze in a page or paragraph. She created just the right amount of mystery at the beginning to keep my attention without dragging it out so long I lost interest. Even knowing the outcome of Josephine's life did not deter me from reading this book, I couldn't wait to find out what was happening next.This is not a boring book that accounts the details and daily happenings of life during the French Revolution. This book is driven by existing letters and documentation. Ms. Gulland fleshed out her research with a fascinating fictional account of Josephine's struggles, triumphs and losses. As a side note, I found it very interesting to read the entire trilogy together. I enjoyed observing the progression and evolution of Ms. Gulland's writing, not an improvement or decline just a change that gave me a glimpse into her growth as a writer.