AMBITION AND DESIRE THE DANGEROUS LIFE OF JOSEPHINE BONAPARTE

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Ambition And Desire

Author : Kate Williams
ISBN : 9780345522856
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 41.59 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
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From CNN’s official royal historian, a highly praised young author with a doctorate from Oxford University, comes the extraordinary rags-to-riches story of the woman who conquered Napoleon’s heart—and with it, an empire. Their love was legendary, their ambition flagrant and unashamed. Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife, Josephine, came to power during one of the most turbulent periods in the history of France. The story of the Corsican soldier’s incredible rise has been well documented. Now, in this spellbinding, luminous account, Kate Williams draws back the curtain on the woman who beguiled him: her humble origins, her exorbitant appetites, and the tragic turn of events that led to her undoing. Born Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de La Pagerie on the Caribbean island of Martinique, the woman Napoleon would later call Josephine was the ultimate survivor. She endured a loveless marriage to a French aristocrat—executed during the Reign of Terror—then barely escaped the guillotine blade herself. Her near-death experience only fueled Josephine’s ambition and heightened her determination to find a man who could finance and sustain her. Though no classic beauty, she quickly developed a reputation as one of the most desirable women on the continent. In 1795, she met Napoleon. The attraction was mutual, immediate, and intense. Theirs was an often-tumultuous union, roiled by their pursuit of other lovers but intensely focused on power and success. Josephine was Napoleon’s perfect consort and the object of national fascination. Together they conquered Europe. Their extravagance was unprecedented, even by the standards of Versailles. But she could not produce an heir. Sexual obsession brought them together, but cold biological truth tore them apart. Gripping in its immediacy, captivating in its detail, Ambition and Desire is a true tale of desire, heartbreak, and revolutionary turmoil, engagingly written by one of England’s most praised young historians. Kate Williams’s searing portrait of this alluring and complex woman will finally elevate Josephine Bonaparte to the historical prominence she deserves. Praise for Ambition and Desire “Not just a scholarly work, but a page-turner . . . Williams is no stranger to creating works on strong and influential women, and, as in those works, here she does an admirable job of demystifying Josephine. . . . This engrossing and accessible account is for all readers who enjoy historical biography.”—Library Journal “[A] riveting account . . . Williams perfectly illustrates all that was bizarre and maddening about French life during the reign of Josephine and Napoleon Bonaparte.”—Publishers Weekly “Intelligent and entertaining.”—Kirkus Reviews “An in-depth portrait of the substantive woman behind the throne.”—Booklist “Reading [Ambition and Desire] is like watching Silk Stockings, the 1957 Hollywood masterpiece with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. The book flows and jumps, taking the reader by the hand through tormented times in French history without ever letting you go or losing itself in the intricacies of French politics.”—The Times “A sparkling account of this most fallible and endearing of women.”—Daily Mail “A whirlwind tour of French history.”—The Telegraph From the Hardcover edition.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Caesar Of Paris Napoleon Bonaparte Rome And The Artistic Obsession That Shaped An Empire

Author : Susan Jaques
ISBN : 9781681779409
Genre : History
File Size : 51.91 MB
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A monumental cultural history of Napoleon Bonaparte’s fascination with antiquity and how it shaped Paris’ artistic landscape. Napoleon is one of history’s most fascinating figures. But his complex relationship with Rome—both with antiquity and his contemporary conflicts with the Pope and Holy See—have undergone little examination. In The Caesar of Paris, Susan Jaques reveals how Napoleon’s dueling fascination and rivalry informed his effort to turn Paris into “the new Rome”— Europe’s cultural capital—through architectural and artistic commissions around the city. His initiatives and his aggressive pursuit of antiquities and classical treasures from Italy gave Paris much of the classical beauty we know and adore today. Napoleon had a tradition of appropriating from past military greats to legitimize his regime—Alexander the Great during his invasion of Egypt, Charlemagne during his coronation as emperor, even Frederick the Great when he occupied Berlin. But it was ancient Rome and the Caesars that held the most artistic and political influence and would remain his lodestars. Whether it was the Arc de Triopmhe, the Venus de Medici in the Louvre, or the gorgeous works of Antonio Canova, Susan Jaques brings Napoleon to life as never before.
Category: History

Fashion In European Art

Author : Justine De Young
ISBN : 9781786732248
Genre : Design
File Size : 60.31 MB
Format : PDF
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Fashion reveals not only who we are, but whom we aspire to be. From 1775 to 1925, artists in Europe were especially attuned to the gaps between appearance and reality, participating in and often critiquing the making of the self and the image. Reading their portrayals of modern life with an eye to fashion and dress reveals a world of complex calculations and subtle signals. Extensively illustrated, Fashion in European Art explores the significance of historical dress over this period of upheaval, as well as the lived experience of dress and its representation. Drawing on visual sources that extend from paintings and photographs to fashion plates, caricatures and advertisements, the expert contributors consider how artists and their sitters engaged with the fashion and culture of their times. They explore the politics of dress, its inspirations and the reactions it provoked, as well as the many meanings of fashion in European art, revealing its importance in understanding modernity itself.
Category: Design

Aaron Burr In Exile

Author : Jane Merrill
ISBN : 9781476621302
Genre : History
File Size : 40.23 MB
Format : PDF
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Aaron Burr—Revolutionary War hero, third vice president of the United States and a controversial figure of the early republic—was tried and acquitted of treason charges in 1807, and thereafter departed for self-imposed exile in Europe, his political career in ruins. Adrift in Paris for 15 months, he led a marginal existence on the run from creditors and the courts, getting by on handouts. While other Americans in Paris enjoyed official status that insulated them from life in the capital, Burr dreamed up fruitless schemes and pawned his possessions, yet remained in high spirits, enjoying Parisian theater and cafés. He shopped, flirted, paid for sex and associated with friends old and new while gathering the resolve to return to America. Burr’s Paris journal is a rare item, with only 250 unexpurgated copies printed in 1903. In it he relates his fascinating stories and describes Parisian life at the height of Napoleon’s power. Drawing on Burr’s journal and other sources, this book provides a self-portrait of the down-and-out Founding Father abroad.
Category: History

England S Mistress

Author : Kate Williams
ISBN : 0307484297
Genre : History
File Size : 28.95 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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She was the most famous woman in England–the beautiful model for society painters Joshua Reynolds and George Romney, an icon of fashion, the wife of an ambassador, and the mistress of naval hero Horatio Nelson. But Emma Hamilton had been born to the poverty of a coal-mining town and spent her teenage years working as a prostitute. From the brothels of London to the glittering court of Naples and the pretentious country estate of the most powerful admiral in England, British debut historian Kate Williams captures the life of Emma Hamilton with all its glamour and heartbreak. In lucid, engaging prose, Williams brings to life a complex and intelligent woman. Emma is sensuous, generous, artistic, at once shamelessly seductive and recklessly ambitious. Willing to do anything for love and fame, she sets out to make herself a star–and she succeeds beyond even her wildest dreams. By the age of twenty-six, she leaves behind the precarious life of a courtesan to become Lady Hamilton, wife of Sir William Hamilton–the aging, besotted, and probably impotent British ambassador to the court of Naples. But everything changes when Lord Nelson steams into Naples harbor fresh from his triumph at the Battle of the Nile and literally falls into Emma’s adoring arms. Their all-consuming romance–conducted amid the bloody tumult of the Napoleonic Wars–makes Emma an international celebrity, especially when she returns to England pregnant with Nelson’s baby. With a novelist’s flair and an historian’s eye for detail, Williams conjures up the world that Emma Hamilton conquered by the sheer force of her charisma. All but inventing the art of publicity, Emma turned herself into a kind of flesh-and-blood goddess–celebrated by wits and artists, adored by thousands, and, for a time, very rich. Yet Emma was willing to throw it all away for the man she adored. After four years of archival research and making use of hundreds of previously undiscovered letters and documents, Kate Williams sets the record straight on one of the most fascinating and ravishing women in history. England’s Mistress captures the relentless drive, the innovative style, and the burning passion of a true heroine. From the Hardcover edition.
Category: History

Becoming Queen Victoria

Author : Kate Williams
ISBN : 0345521935
Genre : History
File Size : 31.70 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The perfect companion to the PBS Masterpiece series Victoria • A gripping account of Queen Victoria’s rise and early years in power from CNN’s official royal historian “Kate Williams has perfected the art of historical biography. Her pacy writing is underpinned by the most impeccable scholarship.”—Alison Weir In 1819, a girl was born to the fourth son of King George III. No one could have expected such an unassuming, overprotected girl to be an effective ruler—yet Queen Victoria would become one of the most powerful monarchs in history. Writing with novelistic flair and historical precision, Kate Williams reveals a vibrant woman in the prime of her life, while chronicling the byzantine machinations that continued even after the crown was placed on her head. Upon hearing that she had inherited the throne, eighteen-year-old Victoria banished her overambitious mother from the room, a simple yet resolute move that would set the tone for her reign. The queen clashed constantly not only with her mother and her mother’s adviser, the Irish adventurer John Conroy, but with her ministers and even her beloved Prince Albert—all of whom attempted to seize control from her. Williams lays bare the passions that swirled around the throne—the court secrets, the sexual repression, and the endless intrigue. The result is a grand tale of a woman whose destiny began long before she was born and whose legacy lives on. Praise for Becoming Queen Victoria “An informative, entertaining, gossipy tale.”—Publishers Weekly “A great read . . . With lively writing, Ms. Williams [makes] the story fresh and appealing.”—The Washington Times “Sparkling, engaging.”—Open Letters Monthly
Category: History