The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.

The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B Since completing high school history few of us have managed to keep straight the details of the French Revolution Beyond suggestions of eating cake and the effectiveness of the guillotine this sordi

  • Title: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.
  • Author: Sandra Gulland
  • ISBN: 9781615547364
  • Page: 453
  • Format: Paperback
  • Since completing high school history, few of us have managed to keep straight the details of the French Revolution Beyond suggestions of eating cake and the effectiveness of the guillotine, this sordid time period has remained for many somewhat obscure Now, through the novel The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B not only do we learn of the many differencesSince completing high school history, few of us have managed to keep straight the details of the French Revolution Beyond suggestions of eating cake and the effectiveness of the guillotine, this sordid time period has remained for many somewhat obscure Now, through the novel The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B not only do we learn of the many differences between Robespierre and Rousseau, but we gain insight into the marriage of one of history s greatest political couples Napoleon and Josephine Standing beside the charismatic Napoleon, Josephine s own importance and fascinating history have often been overshadowed In a fictionalized account of Josephine s diaries and her correspondence, author Sandra Gulland has shed light on Josephine s pre Napoleon life This, the first of three books about Josephine, covers her childhood in Martinique, her first marriage, the birth of her children, her life during the revolution, and her marriage to Napoleon A poor Creole outsider as well as a rising socialite, Josephine experienced both the horrors of imprisonment and the privilege of connections Utilizing these different perspectives, Gulland takes special care to bring forth the reality of life in late 18th century France Though she can only theorize on Josephine s emotions and desires, Gulland s talented writing and the restrained use of footnotes keep the reader properly informed on pertinent details, whether they be obscure political events or voodoo beliefs While professional historians may bristle at the artistic license Gulland employs, most readers will find her novel a satisfying and engaging introduction to this dramatic period Nancy R.E O Brien

    • The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. BY Sandra Gulland
      453 Sandra Gulland
    • thumbnail Title: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. BY Sandra Gulland
      Posted by:Sandra Gulland
      Published :2019-04-27T18:11:11+00:00

    About " Sandra Gulland "

  • Sandra Gulland

    I m the author of the JOSEPHINE B TRILOGY, the internationally best selling novels based on the life of Josephine Bonaparte, Napoleon s wife The Trilogy has been published in 17 countries I most recently published THE SHADOW QUEEN, the sister novel of MISTRESS OF THE SUN Both novels are set in the Court of Louis XIV, the Sun King Soon THE GAME OF HOPE, a Young Adult novel about Josephine Bonaparte s daughter and Napoleon s stepdaughter , will be published in Canada and the US, An American Canadian, I was born in Miami, Florida, and lived in Rio de Janeiro, Berkeley and Chicago before immigrating to Canada in 1970 to teach in an Inuit village in northern Labrador Note my birthday above is fictitious for security reasons, but I m not coy about my age I was born in 1944 Settling in Toronto, I worked as a book editor for a decade before moving with my husband and two children to a log house in northern Ontario, where, in 1985, I began writing full time Our two children grown, my husband and I now live half the year in Ontario, and half in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico For information about me, my research and work, go to my website at sandragulland I also write a blog, and can be found on the Net in a number of locals Website sandragulland Blog sandragulland Facebook bit sgullandFacebookTwitter twitter Sandra_Gulland

  • 954 Comments

  • History is Fiction. - RobespierreThis entire book was written in epistolary format, which does not always work for me. In fact I think I may have read this a great deal sooner had my daughter not told me that the story unfolded as diary entries. That would have been my loss as the writing here is sublime. Every sentence just flows into the next and I feel as though I am a fly on the wall looking over Josephine’s shoulder as she writes. To be accurate though I cannot yet call her Josephine. I m [...]


  • 4.5 stars, just a smidgen under a 5 perfection. The form of diary and letters with footnotes was superb. It worked for me far more than other fiction narrative forms. Rose's writing is indicative of her character, her core, so intensely that it gave a window in itself.But the eyes were the substance here. This is history and circumstance as it was seen, not as it was later or further interpreted. And I don't need a middle man to interpret history for me. First source material is the thing!! The [...]


  • This was a beautifully crafted book. Written in the voice of Josephine after nearly a decade of research by the author, it is intensely captivating and is one of my all time favorite books- along with the two that follow it in the trilogy. If you're a sucker for historical fiction it is an absolute MUST read.


  • This purports to be the diary of Josephine Bonaparte from the time she was a fourteen-year-old plantation owner's daughter in Martinique in 1777 to her marriage to Napoleon in 1796. That's its weakness and it's strength. The weakness, I think, being that diary format. There are novels told in diary form that I've found moving and riveting: Bridget Jones's Diary, Flowers for Algernon, and even, believe it or not, a Buffy novel, Go Ask Malice. I think what all of them have in common are very stron [...]


  • Gulland certainly goes under the petticoats of this pivotal period in history, the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, to provide a day by day commentary of events as they unfolded, narrated by the enigmatic but charismatic Rose, aka Josephine, as named by her second husband.Born in Martinique off Creole heritage and married off to French aristocrat Alexandre de Beauharnais as a replacement to his original choice of her younger sister Catherine (who died suddenly and conveniently), Rose ch [...]


  • [image error]It's a little embarrassing to review a book I wrote, but I will say this: First: Readers have been over-the-moon about Joséphine.Second: This e-book edition is the first of my e-book publishing enterprise, Sandra Gulland INK, and I'm very proud of it. I read e-books a lot, and I often find myself grumbling at the poor design and layout. For example, shouldn't a book always open at the cover? In the absence of a jacket cover, we need the information that we would normally find there [...]


  • 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 [...]


  • I had a lot of issues with this story. While I found the beginning engaging, the story didn't make much sense starting about a third of the way through. Her husband tells her she needs to work on her writing skills, yet the novel is in diary form so the reader can see for herself whether her writing needs improvement. And, of course, it doesn't. Her writing also doesn't change at all as she gets older and more experienced. Same verse, same insight. Since the author chose to use a diary format, s [...]


  • NO SPOILERSI have thoroughly enjoyed this book, the first of Sandra Gulland's trilogy concerning Josephine Bonaparte. I have completed ALL three books of the trilogy. I think it is very important to read them as one book. For that reason I will write one review and let it stand for all three books. I think it is wrong to evaluate them differently. All three were marvelous. Why? Well because youu got under the skin of Josephine, who in fact was called Rose until Napolean decided to change her nam [...]


  • I fell in love when I read this book. Josephine, yes, Napoleon's Josephine became my bff. Written in diary form, this book is an intimate portrait of a woman, who happened to live and be a part of interesting times. When I started the book, I didn't know the players, and have since researched them all. Guilland writes of a real flesh and blood woman, used, abused, honored and ultimately tossed aside. I cried knowing the outcome, but Guilland writes to the heart. A wonderful read, I zoomed throug [...]


  • Ah finally. A book that I could just sink my teeth into and enjoy wholeheartedly! This is the first book of a trilogy about Josephine B as in Bonaparte. I knew absolutely nothing about her background, but only as a famous appendage of Napoleon, as in Romeo and Juliet. Although the book is fiction, it is heavily research with some footnotes. What I love is knowing that it's heavily based on fact, but that the research doesn't seep through into the story. Josephine, whose original name of Rose was [...]




  • This novel is written as if it was the secret diary of Rose de Beauharnias, the young woman who would become known to history as Empress Joséphine, wife of Napoleon. It begins when Rose was a young girl living with her family on the island of Martinique, and she is told a strange prophecy by a native fortune-teller: ‘You will be unhappily wed. You will be widowed. You will be Queen.’ The novel then follows Rose’s life as she moves to France, is married to a French nobleman who ends up bei [...]


  • I would have never chosen this book on my own. My boss recommended it and I started reading slowly at first. This week I've stayed up every night until at least 2:00 a.m. reading it. It's not an easy read since it's in diary form (I find that more challenging for some reason) and some words are in French (names/locations and slang mostly). I took two years of French in high school but I don't recall much at all. It's a historical fiction, of which I haven't read many. I loved it though. It makes [...]


  • I reallllly liked it!! It moved very quickly and was sad, fun, informative. Excited to keep reading the series. Napoleon seems like quite a character! Rose/Josephine has real emotions most women can relate to Gulland did a great job describing the chaos of the French Revolution and the impact it had on the French. Life in prison was painful to read. Anyway, I loved it the more I think about it.


  • I've been meaning to read this novel, by fellow Killaloe-ian, for awhile now. It's a time in history (French Revolution) I hadn't realised I'd wanted to learn more about. The book is well written and researched and Josephine/Rose's story is an interesting one. I recommend!


  • Captivating, wonderful. I can't say it better than the cover blurb from the Edmonton Journal - "It is that rare thing: a smart book you can read as compulsively as a beach-blanket thriller." My experience EXACTLY.Truly a great writing accomplishment.



  • This was an interesting read and I learned a lot about the woman who would become Josephine Bonaparte that I did not know. I don't know that it will ever be a book that I revisit since I find the details of the French Revolution to be horrific. Stories that engage my attention often stay with me for days after I finish them and affect my mood for either good or ill. While parts of this tale are pleasant and all of it is informative, some was very upsetting because it is based on factual events a [...]


  • Recommended by my granddaughter this is an excellent story set in Revolutionary Paris The details esp of ladies fashion were amazing - great research here. I shall look forward to the other two books in the trilogy. Thanks Carrie.


  • This trilogy is incredible. I read these sometime around 2003, and they'll be well worth another read at some point!


  • OK. This is Josephine Bonaparte we’re talking about-–the shocking woman who pushed the waistline of her dresses up so she could appear longer in public pregnant (or so I have in my head)! The wife of the Emperor of the World! The French Revolution! The sugar plantations of the Caribbean! How on earth could this book turn out so dull? It was dull. So dull, in fact, that I have to get up and reheat a leftover Chipotle carnitas taco right now I can’t stand thinking about this book.OK.I receiv [...]


  • Beautifully crafted, with characters almost stepping off the page, THE MANY LIVES AND SECRET SORROWS OF JOSEPHINE B is an extremely satisfying re-creation of the early life of Josephine Bonaparte. Written as a personal journal, Sandra Gulland's prose engages the reader from first page to last, bringing to life her main character 'Rose', better known to history as Josephine, the first wife of Napoleon.Rose begins her story as a fourteen-year-old, on the brink of her journey to adulthood. Born int [...]


  • This is about the story of Josephine Bonaparte from the time of her childhood to the time she meets and marries Napoleon Bonaparte. She is born in Martinique, named Marie Joseph Rose de Tasher de la Pagerie and called Rose. She travels to France to marry Alexandre Beauharnais, bears him two children and they quickly become estranged. Although Rose survives the terror, Alexandre does not. Politics rule Rose's young life as she watches government tumble and change over and over. She is imprisoned [...]


  • Continuing on my historical fiction jag, I picked this up because it was recommended in the Complete Idiot's Guide to the Ultimate Reading List. This was a quick read due to the diary form. And I was fascinated (and horrified) by the background of the Reign of Terror (which makes for good strings afterwards). I did not realize this was the first of a trilogy and was surprised that 3/4 of the way through the book we had not even met Napolean yet. I liked the book enough that I am looking forward [...]


  • "The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B." by Sandra Gulland is an historical fiction novel with (for me) a bit of a twist. It is written in diary form. At first I wasn't sure about reading a 'journal'. I thought it would feel disjointed, I was wrong. The journal hits all of the highs and lows. The feel is even more 'real' given that Ms. Gulland uses not just the dates and places where the entries were written, but also times of day in some cases and partial/entire letters written to [...]


  • I love historical fiction when the heroine is truly compelling and the pace is not too slow. This, the first in the trilogy, was exactly that. Quick paced, passionate, and compelling. I immediately loved Rosed felt more and more inspired by her as the story went on. Some of the betrayal and pain she has to go through is really maddening because you really feel she deserves so much better. She makes choices I did not even think it was possible for women to make at that time.a real heroine. It los [...]


  • I read and enjoyed Gulland's Mistress of the Sun last year. This one, the first of a trilogy about Josephine Bonaparte, was also a pleasure. Once in awhile I enjoy reading a novel that is not too demanding, a sort of light entertainment. Not that the themes of Josephine's life are light, by any means: the loss of family members in childhood; a loveless arranged first marriage; imprisonment, execution of her husband and barely escaping the guillotine herself, crippling debt, and single motherhood [...]


  • I really enjoyed this story; I'm already looking forward to the next one.Sanrda Gulland takes you seamlessly through the many different stages of Rose's (Josephine's) life. From her Creole upbringing to her marriage to a French rebel to her imprisonment to her introduction to the sallow and ungainly, yet determined Napoleon Bonaparte. It was a thrilling story! I have never seen the French Revolution from any point of view besides the King and Queen.The only thing that keeps the story from being [...]


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