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The Divine Josephine


Josephine, Empress, Consort of Napoleon., Digital ID 1544943, New York Public LibraryWhen giving lectures for the “Decoration in the Age of Napoleon” exhibition, I often referred to Josephine Bonaparte as the Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy of her age. The comparison is apt, for Josephine epitomized the elegance of her times. She was a graceful dresser, diplomat, and a superb decorator, whose contributions to the Empire Style have been only lately fully acknowledged. An enchanting fictional account of her life was written by Sandra Gulland, and gives a vivid portrait of her joys and woes. Her lithe, long-limbed figure was suited to the empire-waist gowns of Revolutionary France. In fact, Josephine enjoyed a dubious reputation during that time as the mistress of one of the five Directors, Paul Barras. Josephine, Empress, Consort of Napoleon., Digital ID 1544914, New York Public LibraryJosephine and her friends were notorious for dampening their pale muslin gowns and wearing little or no undergarments. Ah, what one would give for an image of that! But in those pre-photography days, not even a salacious print remains to record such deeds. The printmakers of Paris were a timid lot compared to their counterparts in Georgian London.        



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Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for mentioning <a href="">the Josephine B. Trilogy</a>. I was moved that you thought of Josephine as the Jackie O of her day. While writing the trilogy, I often thought of Jackie. Sincerely, Sandra Gulland <a href=""></a>

Dear Sandra, I had the good

Dear Sandra, I had the good fortune to meet you at the Albany Historical Novel Writers Conference a few summers ago. I wish more people had the talent and ability to write about a historical figure as well as you do. If anybody is reading this comment, please know that Sandra's books on Josephine Bonaparte are the next best thing to "being there." Marriage to Napoleon had to have been quite an experience! Thanks to Sandra, we can look inside the head of a woman known for the same graciousness, gentleness, and poise as the late Mrs. Onassis...

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