Rachel Engl is a double major in History and French and will graduate in 2010. She is an honors student who is originally from Grand Island, NY. Rachel plans to pursue a Ph.D. in early American history following graduation.
Rachel’s paper was nominated by Dr. Thomas Schaeper, Professor of History.
The story of Napoleon Bonaparte would be incomplete without consideration of his first wife, Josephine, because she contributed so much to his passion and vigor throughout his reign. The impact Josephine had on her husband was immense as well as enduring. But why was Napoleon so attracted to this woman? What made him fall madly in love with her in the first couple months of their relationship, and what led to a truly remarkable bond that would last long beyond their marriage?
Josephine often attracts very sensational writers like Carolly Erickson, who dramatize her life, making it a story similar to one found in a soap opera. Josephine’s position as Napoleon’s wife invites the same sort of writers that Marie Antoinette and Princess Diana do. These kinds of authors dwell on questionable myths and legends, while also basing their books on flimsy research. Few scholarly historians have chosen to dedicate an entire work to Josephine. The only significant such work is E. J. Knapton’s book, Josephine. On the other hand, prominent biographers of Napoleon, including Alan Schom and Frank McLynn, always make fair mention of Josephine, giving much space to both her and her relationship with Napoleon. While the dramatic writers sensationalize her divorce and focus on her love affairs and questionable background, Schom and McLynn clearly establish Napoleon and Josephine’s relationship. However, even the best historians have tended to overlook the strong feelings Napoleon had for her even after their divorce.
Many scholars question whether Napoleon still loved Josephine after his initial infatuation, where proof abounds in his love letters to her. They suggest that after Napoleon found out about his wife’s infidelities that he no longer loved her. Further, many believe that Napoleon’s love for Josephine ended with their divorce in December 1809. As proof, these historians cite Napoleon’s own infidelities, including the numerous mistresses he had while on campaigns, as proof that his love had ended. While his affection for Josephine certainly changed as a result of both her infidelities and their divorce, Napoleon never stopped loving her. The evidence can be found in his many letters to her from their wedding in 1796 to 1799, when Josephine took many lovers while Napoleon was away in Italy and Egypt. Although his letters changed tone after he discovered her infidelities, it is clear that he still had strong feelings for her. He was still very much in love with her, which is why he was so upset that she was unfaithful to him. This can be seen, for example, in a letter he wrote to her in 1806, long after he discovered her infidelities. He wrote, “I am well. I love you and want you…there is only one woman in the world for me.” A year later, Napoleon addressed Josephine’s anxiety about his involvement with other women, reassuring her, “I don’t know what you mean by ladies who correspond with me. I love only my little Josephine, good, sulky, capricious, who can quarrel gracefully, as she does everything else, for she is always fascinating…” It is apparent from such letters that he continued to love Josephine despite their infidelities. After their divorce, or rather annulment, Napoleon continually wrote to her, even though he was married to Marie Louise of Austria. In fact, there is a definite difference between the tone Napoleon used in his letters to Marie Louise and those to Josephine. For example, in a letter to Marie Louise in 1813, Napoleon writes, “I have received the letter in which you inform me that you received the Archchancellor while still in bed: my will is that, in no circumstance, for no reason whatever, should you receive any one whomsoever while still in bed.” In this letter Napoleon acted like a father and disciplinarian. His letters to Josephine, on the other hand, continued to have the air of a loving husband. Even his writings from St. Helena late in his life illustrate that he still truly loved Josephine. To be sure, he did not completely disregard Marie Louise, who had not been permitted to follow him into exile. Marie Louise was beneficial to Napoleon because she provided him with a son. Josephine, though, was beneficial to Napoleon because she provided him with a loving and supportive partner in his life and his destiny.
An examination of Josephine’s life before Napoleon is both pertinent and necessary in order to understand the woman with whom Napoleon fell in love. Josephine was born on June 23, 1763 in Martinique as Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie. Most people called her Rose. Napoleon would later insist on calling her Josephine, in order to make her shed her old and somewhat negative reputation. Josephine’s parents owned a sugar plantation on the island. She left Martinique for France in 1779 to marry a man named Alexandre de Beauharnais, a young French aristocrat. Josephine’s aunt sought to marry one of her three nieces off to Alexandre in an effort to strengthen her relationship with her lover, Alexandre’s father. The woman he chose was Josephine’s younger sister, Catherine. However, right before the letter arrived in Martinique, Catherine suddenly died of tuberculosis. Josephine was then sent in her place, unbeknownst to Alexandre, who did not find out until Josephine and her aunt arrived in France. The marriage between Alexandre and Josephine proved to be an unhappy one, but it still produced two children – Eugene and Hortense. Josephine’s children would later help her begin and maintain her relationship with Napoleon. During the French Revolution, Alexandre sided with the revolutionaries and became one of the leading generals, commanding the Army of the Rhine. Alexandre was accused of treason after he attempted to flee once his army was defeated at Mainz. He was then imprisoned. Josephine was also briefly imprisoned because she tried to interfere in her husband’s case in order to save him. As punishment for her attempted intervention, Josephine was condemned to death, but she was able to avoid this sentence merely by chance. Before the scheduled day of her execution, Robespierre was overthrown. Thus, the punishment was null, and she was released. Her husband, though, suffered a different fate. He was killed on the guillotine earlier in 1794.
After Alexandre’s death, Josephine struggled greatly to provide for herself and her children. As a result, she became a mistress to several prominent men in French society. Her relationship with Paul Barras, one of the five directors in the new government created after the Thermodorian Reaction, has never been fully substantiated by any concrete and undeniable evidence because both Barras and Napoleon added their own spins to their memoirs. Many historians, though, argue that Josephine did indeed have some sort of relationship with Barras before she became involved with Napoleon. According to the story generally accepted by historians, Barras was trying to get rid of Josephine and pawn her off on the young Napoleon. However, in Napoleon’s memoirs written at St. Helena, he recounts a much different version of how he met her. According to Napoleon, Josephine’s son, Eugène, came to see him in the fall of 1795 to ask if he could keep his father’s sword. Moved by Eugène’s request, Napoleon allowed him to keep the sword. Josephine then invited Napoleon to her apartment in Paris in order to thank him for his kind gesture. Napoleon was immediately enamored of the charming and elegant Josephine. He fell completely in love with her within the first couple months of their relationship. He wrote about this in his memoirs at St. Helena, saying “Everyone knows the extreme grace of the Empress Josephine and her sweet and attractive manners. The acquaintance soon became intimate and tender, and it was not long before we married.”
Josephine and Napoleon shared many things in common. For instance, there was something similar with their birthplaces. They were both born outside of France – Josephine in Martinique and Napoleon in Corsica. They were both outsiders in France, but Josephine had been able to establish herself through her marriage to Alexandre de Beauharnais, a member of the French aristocracy. In fact, her prior marriage led Napoleon to believe that a marriage to Josephine would allow him to become a member of French aristocracy as well. Because of her prior marriage to a French aristocrat and time spent in a convent during her imprisonment, Josephine was able to practice and perfect her excellent social skills. She frequented the salons of Paris after her husband’s death and was able to maintain a relationship with members of the aristocracy, which added to her reputation in Napoleon’s eyes. Furthermore, when he first met her, he was under the impression that she possessed several estates back in the West Indies, both from her parents and from her deceased husband. Josephine may even have slightly encouraged Napoleon to believe such a fallacy in order to impress him.
Josephine was six years older than Napoleon, which has caused many historians to question whether the Oedipus complex played any role in his attractions. Napoleon’s relationship with his mother, Letizia, has been well-established and examined by historians. Napoleon held the utmost respect and admiration for his strict mother. According to historian Frank McLynn, although the argument for the Oedipus complex might be weak because Josephine was only six years older than Napoleon, “a relationship with a significantly older woman may show that the mother is lurking the male unconscious.” Therefore, McLynn argues that it was much more of an unconscious attraction, if any was involved. It follows more logically that Napoleon would fall for an older woman whom he would respect and adore, as he did his mother. The fact that Josephine was older than Napoleon contributed to their relationship in another, more concrete sense. Being both older and more experienced with love, Josephine was able to relax a nervous Napoleon. She put him at ease, and, as a result, Napoleon always felt comfortable around her.
All of these underlying circumstances molded the personality that Napoleon grew to love. He fell in love with the essence of Josephine, which is why their relationship lasted well beyond the end of their marriage. Napoleon’s feelings towards her were based on a natural and unforced attraction that would create an everlasting bond. There were many aspects of Josephine’s personality that attracted Napoleon to her. Although Josephine did not receive an excellent education during her childhood, her natural intelligence compensated for this fact. She served as an able match for his supreme genius and intellect. Napoleon appreciated her exemplary social skills; these were what immediately attracted him to her when he went to her house for the first time. According to Eleanor DeLorme, “these gifts—coupled with her sympathetic, receptive nature—eminently qualified Joséphine to be the ideal companion for the man who was engaged in reshaping the map of Europe.”
Throughout the beginning of their relationship, Napoleon often wrote to Josephine, telling her of his intense feelings for her. These love letters clearly established his initial and enduring love. Napoleon continued to write to her throughout their relationship, although the tone and content of the letters would eventually change. But it is these letters that speak the truth by themselves, demonstrating that Napoleon always had a true admiration and respect for her. In the first years of their relationship, Napoleon’s love was a “head over heals” kind of romantic love. For example, in a letter of December 1795, Napoleon writes, “Je me reveille plein de toi. Ton portrait et le souvenir de l’enivrante soirée d’hier n’ont point laissé de repos à mes sens. Douce et incomparable Joséphine, quel effet bizarre faites-vous sur mon cœur !” Josephine’s lady-in-waiting, Madame de Rémusat writes of Napoleon’s strong love for Josephine from the beginning in her memoirs. In a particular passage, she recalls the letters written by Napoleon to Josephine, saying “…they breathe a love so different from mere ‘amours’…”
While Napoleon was completely enamored of Josephine, her feelings for him were much different from his at this point in their relationship. Napoleon was impressed with her charm, grace, and good taste, but she was not so impressed with him. She had several reservations in marrying him. In fact, she was very dubious about Napoleon’s prospects for a future success that would provide security for her and her children. She did not find him attractive, but she also understood that she was past her prime. She was no longer a good catch, and she realized what a good opportunity a marriage to Napoleon could afford her and her family. Thus, Josephine eventually agreed to marry Napoleon a few months after he proposed in January of 1796. She believed that he could help her situation and make her life more stable. Napoleon would be able to support both her and her children much more comfortably than she could alone. Napoleon also seemed to care genuinely for her children, which led Josephine to believe that he would make a good stepfather. In the end, Josephine viewed her marriage to Napoleon as an arrangement of expediency and respectability, rather than a marriage of true love.
The wedding ceremony took place in the mayor’s office of the second arrondissement in Paris on March 9, 1796. The ceremony was rather thrifty, and many historians today even question its legality. The mayor had departed after waiting for over three hours for Napoleon to arrive. In his place, the mayor left a minor official, who did not really have the legal authority to marry the couple. In addition, Napoleon and Josephine both lied about their ages on their marriage certificate – Napoleon added a few years to his age, while Josephine subtracted several from hers. Napoleon even falsified his birthplace, naming Paris instead of Corsica and using a falsified birth certificate to support it. No members of either Napoleon’s or Josephine’s family were present. In fact, none of them even knew about the marriage in advance. The entire ceremony lasted a couple minutes. This contrasted sharply with Napoleon’s lavish wedding to Marie Louise in 1810.
Napoleon and Josephine’s honeymoon lasted a mere two days, or around thirty-six hours before Napoleon had to leave for his Italian campaign. Their first night together was somewhat noteworthy. Napoleon entered Josephine’s bedroom and discovered that her dog, Fortuné, had already made himself comfortable in her bed. Josephine then informed Napoleon that he could either sleep there with the dog on the bed or find somewhere else to sleep. Napoleon chose to sleep with Josephine on their first night together, but he claimed that the dog interfered with his love-making ability. The dog apparently bit his leg during his efforts. For the rest of their honeymoon, Napoleon spent much of his time preparing for his upcoming campaign in Italy.
On March 11, three days after the wedding, Napoleon departed for Italy, leaving his new wife behind. She was not allowed to accompany him on his campaign because the Directors believed that she would distract Napoleon from his mission there. This time away from his wife, though, certainly did not put an end to Napoleon’s feelings for her. He kept in touch with her through letters. Napoleon often sent her letters at least twice a day. These letters show Napoleon’s infatuation with Josephine throughout the beginning of their relationship. In fact, Napoleon would often beg Josephine to join him in Italy. On April 26, 1796, he wrote to her saying, “I beg you to leave with [General] Murat, and come by way of Turin...” That same day Napoleon wrote to his brother Joseph, imploring him to help his wife come to visit him, writing, “If she is well, if the trip will not harm her, I fervently desire her to come. I must see her, press her to my heart. I love her to madness, and can no longer remain away from her.” Napoleon even sent General Junot to Paris, with orders to bring back Josephine the very same month.
Josephine, however, had other ideas. Often, she did not respond to his letters, and she did not wish to join Napoleon in Italy. She wanted to stay in Paris for several reasons. First and foremost, Josephine’s children remained a priority for her. They were attending school in Paris, and Josephine wanted to stay with them. One of the other reasons, though, was a man named Lieutenant Hippolyte Charles. She had met him a mere two months after her marriage to Napoleon, and their relationship quickly progressed. He became her lover not long after they met. He was eight years younger than Josephine, and she was extremely attracted to him. For Josephine, he represented the opposite of Napoleon; the lieutenant was handsome, well-mannered, socially accomplished, and comfortable speaking with women. When the Directors agreed to permit Josephine to visit Napoleon in Italy, she went in June and Charles accompanied her. Everyone in Paris, including Napoleon’s own family, knew about Josephine’s affair with the lieutenant, and it would not be long before Napoleon would find out.
Napoleon’s next mission, in May 1798, took him to the exotic lands of Egypt in an attempt to cut off the British supply route to the East, specifically India. Josephine accompanied her husband to Toulon, where his fleet was being prepared for the upcoming mission. But her loyalties continued to be split between two men – her husband and Hippolyte Charles. It was while Napoleon was in Egypt that he heard of Josephine’s infidelities back in France. General Junot informed him of his wife’s affair a few days before the Battle of the Pyramids. At this point, Napoleon decided to seek revenge for his wife’s infidelities. He had his secretary arrange for a mistress for him so that he would not look like a fool to the people of France, who were well-aware of his wife’s activities while he was off fighting for his country. He told his brother Joseph that he intended to divorce Josephine as well.
Napoleon returned to France in October 1799. He found his house empty, because Josephine, on the advice of Barras, had left Paris to meet Napoleon in Lyons, where he had spent the prior night. She raced back to Paris after learning that he had already left, but Napoleon’s family beat her there. According to the Duchesse d’Abrantès, all of Napoleon’s family believed that he should divorce her. Napoleon’s mother had met Josephine the year she and Napoleon were married and felt that all her worst fears were now realized. Overall, Letizia was unimpressed by Josephine. In fact, Napoleon’s entire family resented Josephine, and they felt that Napoleon had made an uninformed decision about the woman he chose to marry. Throughout Napoleon’s marriage to Josephine, there was always a tradition of bitterness towards Josephine from Napoleon’s family, especially his brother, Joseph, and his mother. However, Napoleon did not allow his family’s prejudices to influence his decision on how to handle his wife’s infidelities. Although he was very upset with Josephine, he gave in after hearing her crying outside his bedroom door the entire night. They were back together by the next morning, but their relationship had changed significantly and, more importantly, irrevocably.
Even though Josephine would never take another lover during the time she was married to Napoleon, he would take several mistresses throughout the duration of their marriage. It was at this time that their roles switched. Josephine fell completely in love with Napoleon, as he had fallen for her at the beginning of their relationship. On the other hand, Napoleon would not fall out of love with her, but his feelings towards Josephine were definitely subdued. He would always love her, but not in the same way he had initially. His love for Josephine was now one based on respect and admiration for the woman he had first fallen in love with. The reason why Napoleon decided to stay with Josephine instead of divorcing her at this time is not completely known. However, many surmise that it was Napoleon’s attachment to Josephine’s children that held the marriage together. In fact, the Duchesse d’Abrantès confirms this idea in her memoirs, writing “Bonaparte was at this time much attached to Eugène Beauharnais who, to do him justice, was a charming youth. He knew less of Hortense, but her youth and sweetness of temper, and the protection of which as his adopted daughter she besought him not to deprive her, proved powerful advocates, and overcame his resistance.” Given the Duchesse’s memoir conveying the truth of the situation, this action shows Napoleon’s enduring commitment both to Josephine and to her children.
Part of this commitment was established from the outset of their relationship. Napoleon had great dreams for his future with Josephine. As a wedding present, he gave her a gold medallion inscribed with the words – “To Destiny.” Napoleon believed that Josephine would strengthen his destiny to become a great leader. On December 2, 1804, Napoleon and Josephine’s relationship was taken to a new level. This was the day of Napoleon’s coronation. However, it was the previous day that led to an even greater transformation in their marriage. Before the coronation, Josephine told Pope Pius VII about the fact that their first marriage had been only a civil ceremony. Therefore, unless they had a ceremony recognized by the Catholic Church, Napoleon would not be able to crown his wife. As a result, Napoleon and Josephine had a secret marriage ceremony at midnight performed by one of Napoleon’s uncles, Cardinal Fesch. The ceremony was very similar to their first wedding – very simple and with few in attendance. But the ceremony sufficed for the purpose, and the coronation took place without any mention of the ceremony the night before. After the coronation, Napoleon and Josephine were no longer just an ordinary ruler and his wife; they became the Emperor and the Empress of France. The Duchesse d’Abrantès describes the coronation:
In Napoleon’s countenance I could read the conviction…He looked with an air of complacency at the Empress as she advanced towards him; and when she knelt down---when the tears which she could not repress fell upon her clasped hands, as they were raised to Heaven, or rather to Napoleon—both then appeared to enjoy one of those fleeting moments of pure felicity which are unique in a lifetime, and serve to fill up a lustrum of years.
So it was together that Napoleon and Josephine had worked to fulfill another step in Napoleon’s destiny to become the greatest ruler that Europe had ever witnessed.
Although their relationship had changed, Napoleon was still very much in love with Josephine. The Duchesse d’Abrantès wrote about his unending love, noting “Josephine’s hold over Napoleon was firmly established, and there was more to the relationship than mere force of habit. It was her essentially bland personality, her gentle and tender nature, which, for a man like Napoleon – constantly agitated, harried by the intensity and immensity of his thoughts – provided an Eden, a sanctuary of repose.” Napoleon’s and Josephine’s relationship became a true partnership in the following years. Josephine helped Napoleon immensely to make his ideas come to fruition. In fact, she was a great asset throughout his reign. For instance, he wanted the old royal customs and practices to be reintroduced, and Josephine was the one to make it happen. She gracefully entertained not only the aristocracy of France but also foreign ambassadors and rulers after their introduction to Napoleon. Josephine also helped Napoleon with his policy of fusion, or the integration of old nobility and aristocracy, into the new post-Revolutionary society. She welcomed back the émigrés to whom Napoleon had granted amnesty.
By the time she reached her mid-40s, Josephine knew that she was unable to produce a male heir and would eventually be forced out. However, this didn’t stop her from crying, screaming, and fainting once she learned that her marriage with Napoleon was over on November 30, 1809, when he announced his plan to divorce her. For Napoleon, divorcing Josephine was merely a sacrifice he had to make – a sacrifice for the greater glory of France. However, it was not really a divorce. It was actually a dissolution or annulment of the marriage. This was because of the rules of the Catholic Church, in which one could not get a divorce. Napoleon even said so himself in his memoirs at St. Helena, explaining the necessity of the dissolution of his marriage to Josephine. Napoleon desperately needed a male heir, and Josephine could no longer support his destiny.
The divorce, however, did not end feelings on either side of the relationship. The day after their divorce papers were signed, Napoleon visited her. Letters to Josephine from Napoleon continued well after their divorce and even during his marriage to Marie-Louise, although they were less frequent. In his letters, Napoleon continued to write of his undying affections for Josephine. On April 28, 1810, a little over a month after his marriage to Marie-Louise, Napoleon wrote to Josephine saying, “Don’t listen to the gossips of Paris; they are good-for-nothings who are far from knowing the real facts. My sentiments for you are unchangeable and I am anxious to hear that you are happy and contented.” On May 20th of the same year, Napoleon wrote again, exclaiming, “I want to see you. If you are at Malmaison at the end of the month I shall come see you.” In fact, on a couple occasions, Napoleon did visit Josephine at Malmaison, which she had received as part of the divorce settlement along with three million francs per year. This act shows that Napoleon cared for Josephine’s well-being after their marriage. He wanted to continue to make her happy by providing her with stability.
There are letters from Napoleon to Josephine through April 1814, right before he left for Elba. He encouraged her to write to him during his exile there. Josephine caught a cold in mid-May 1814, and died on May 29. Her last words were supposedly: “‘Bonaparte…Elba…the king of Rome,” very similar to Napoleon’s last words. When Napoleon learned of her death, he stayed locked in his room for two days, refusing to see anyone. Later at St. Helena, Napoleon writes, “After all said and done, Josephine gave her husband happiness, and was always his tenderest friend, always and in all events showing submission, devotion, absolute self-sacrifice. And I have always thought of her with tender affection and keen gratitude.” In a letter he wrote to Josephine that has been published as “Napoleon’s Farewell to Josephine,” Napoleon writes, “Good-bye, ma bonne Josephine, learn resignation as I have learned it, and never banish from your memory the one who has never forgotten, never will forget you. Adieu, Josephine.”
Some may question the argument that Napoleon’s love for Josephine lasted throughout his lifetime, but the evidence clearly demonstrates otherwise. Opponents of such an argument may bring up the fact that Josephine was not included in Napoleon’s will. However, as historian Susan Conner notes, Napoleon did not complete his final will until the last weeks leading up to his death, which took place on May 5, 1821. In fact, Conner states that this was when Napoleon wrote the majority of his will. Josephine had died almost seven years earlier, so it would have been pointless to include her in his will. However, he did include Josephine’s children in the list of people whom he thanked, which shows his devotion both to her and the family he had with her.
Despite Josephine’s death, Napoleon’s love and adoration for her never ended. There are several examples that prove his enduring love for her. For example, when Napoleon returned to France from Elba during his 100 Days, he made sure to visit Josephine’s garden at Malmaison. From her garden, he took several violets, because they were always Josephine’s favorite, and placed them in a locket that he wore until his death. At St. Helena, he often talked about Josephine, according to those who were with him. In fact, he told his companions that “he had loved Josephine more than he had loved Marie-Louise…He had chosen Josephine for no other reason than desire and affection. They had risen in the world together.” Napoleon had plenty of time to reflect on his life while at St. Helena, and the fact that Josephine was often the one he talked about shows his continued devotion to her. When Napoleon chose to marry Josephine, it was a much more spontaneous and heartfelt action than his marriage to Marie-Louise, which was intended to help France by gaining Austria as an ally. In addition, at St. Helena, Napoleon wrote about Josephine saying that “Elle avait un je ne sais quoi qui plaisait; c’était une vraie femme.” Napoleon’s final words before his death serve as additional proof that he loved her to his dying day. According to those who surrounded him, his final words were “France, armée, tête d’armée, Joséphine.” This statement speaks volumes about Napoleon’s relationship with her, for she was his final thought during the last moment of his life. Not only does this prove that he always thought of Josephine, but even more so, that he placed her on the same level as France and his destiny, because she was, in fact, part of his destiny forever.
- Carolly Erickson, Josephine: A Life of the Empress (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1998).
- Napoleon Bonaparte, In the Words of Napoleon: the Emperor Day by Day, ed. Philip J. Haythornthwaite and R. M. Johnston (London: Greenhill, 2002), 181.
- Bonaparte, In the Words of Napoleon, 191.
- Bonaparte, In the Words of Napoleon, 269.
- Schom, Napoleon Bonaparte, 34.
- Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon on Napoleon: An Autobiography of the Emperor, ed. Somerset de Chair (London: Cassell, 1992), 91; It is unclear why Napoleon had Alexandre’s sword.
- Bonaparte, Napoleon on Napoleon: An Autobiography of the Emperor, 92.
- Evangeline Bruce, Napoleon and Josephine: An Improbable Marriage (New York: Scribner, 1995), 154.
- Andrea Stuart, The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon’s Josephine (New York: Grove Press, 2003), 76-7.
- Frédéric Masson, Napoleon, Lover and Husband (New York: The Merriam Company, 1894), 42; Ernest J. Knapton, Empress Josephine (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1964), 113.
- McLynn, Napoleon: A Biography, 106.
- McLynn, Napoleon: A Biography, 105.
- DeLorme, Joséphine: Napoleon’s Incomparable Empress, 3.
- Napoleon Bonaparte, Lettres d'amour à Joséphine, ed. Chantal de Tourtier-Bonazzi (Paris: Fayard, 1981), 46; Translations are those of the author for the entire paper. Translation: I awake full of you. Your image and the memory of last night’s intoxicating pleasures have left no rest to my senses. Soft and incomparable Josephine, what an odd effect you have on my heart!”
- Madame de Rémusat, Memoirs of the Empress Josephine (New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1910), 91.
- Bruce, Napoleon & Josephine: An Improbable Marriage, 158; Gertrude Aretz, Napoleon and His Women Friends (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1927), 90; Knapton, Empress Josephine, 123.
- Knapton, Empress Josephine, 119.
- R. F. Delderfield, Napoleon in Love (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1959), 55.
- Knapton, Empress Josephine, 120.
- McLynn, Napoleon: A Biography, 103.
- DeLorme, Joséphine: Napoleon’s Incomparable Empress, 42.
- DeLorme, Joséphine: Napoleon’s Incomparable Empress, 40.
- Albert Carr, Napoleon Speaks (New York: The Viking Press, 1941), 133.
- Carr, Napoleon Speaks, 134
- Masson, Napoleon, Lover and Husband, 48.
- Schom, Napoleon Bonaparte, 51.
- Schom, Napoleon Bonaparte, 51; DeLorme, Joséphine: Napoleon’s Incomparable Empress, 42.
- Bruce, Napoleon and Josephine: An Incomparable Marriage, 235.
- DeLorme, Joséphine: Napoleon’s Incomparable Empress, 59.
- Bruce, Napoleon and Josephine: An Incomparable Marriage, 243.
- Duchesse d’Abrantès, At the Court of Napoleon: Memoirs of the Duchess d’Abrantès (New York: Doubleday, 1989), 65.
- Bruce, Napoleon and Josephine: An Improbable Marriage, 191.
- Schom, Napoleon Bonaparte, 206.
- D’Abrantès, At the Court of Napoleon: Memoirs of the Duchess d’Abrantès, 66.
- “Courtship and Marriage,” Napoleon - Napoleon and Josephine,http://www.pbs.org/empires/napoleon/n_josephine/courtship/page_1.html (accessed December 3, 2008).
- McLynn, Napoleon: A Biography, 302.
- Bruce, Napoleon and Josephine: An Improbable Marriage, 364-5.
- D’Abrantès, At the Court of Napoleon: Memoirs of the Duchess d’Abrantès, 264.
- Aronson, Napoleon &Josephine: A Love Story, 117-8.
- DeLorme, Joséphine: Napoleon’s Incomparable Empress, 70.
- Bonaparte, Napoleon on Napoleon: An Autobiography of the Emperor, 210.
- Knapton, Empress Josephine, 297.
- Bonaparte, In the Words of Napoleon: the Emperor Day by Day, 232.
- Knapton, Empress Josephine, 295.
- Bonaparte, Lettres d’amour à Joséphine, 400-1.
- McLynn, Napoleon: A Biography, 599.
- Bonaparte, In the Words of Napoleon: the Emperor Day by Day, 328-9.
- Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon’s Letters to Marie Louise, ed. Charles De La Ronciere (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1935), 264.
- A copy of Napoleon’s last will and testament can be found in: Susan P. Conner, The Age of Napoleon(Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004), 197-99.
- Conner, The Age of Napoleon, 153-4.
- Conner, The Age of Napoleon, 197.
- “A New Life” Napoleon - Napoleon and Josephine,http://www.pbs.org/empires/napoleon/n_josephine/newlife/page_1.html (accessed December 3, 2008).
- Christopher Hibbert, Napoleon: His Wives and Women (London: Harper Collins Publishers, 2002), 296.
- DeLorme, Joséphine: Napoleon’s Incomparable Empress, 36; Translation: She had something inexpressible about her that was pleasing; she was a true woman.
- McLynn, Napoleon: A Biography, 655; Translation: France, the army, the head of the army, Josephine.