Saturday, June 30, 2012

Divorce Statement of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Josephine

Portraits of Josephine

"Joséphine de Beauharnais, Empress of the French", by Robert Jacques François Faust Lefèvre (Bayeux 1755 - Paris 1830).
Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie, a.k.a. Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814) 

"Joséphine de Beauharnais, Empress of the French", by Antoine-Jean Gros (Paris 1771 - Meudon 1835). 

Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie, a.k.a. Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814) 

"Joséphine de Beauharnais, Empress of the French", by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (Cluny 1758 - Paris 1823).

Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie, a.k.a. Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814) 

"Empress Josephine" by Firmin Massot (Geneva 1766 - Geneva 1849).

Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie, a.k.a. Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814) 

"Empress Josephine" painted 1806 by François Pascal Simon Gérard (Rome 1770 - Paris 1837). 

Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie, a.k.a. Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814) 

"Empress Josephine" painted 1807 by Andrea Appiani (Milan 1754 - Milan 1817).

Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie, a.k.a. Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814) 

"Joséphine de Beauharnais, Empress of the French", painted 1807 by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (Cluny 1758 - Paris 1823). 

Josephine De Beauharnais aka Marie Tascher

Where was Josephine born?

    West Indies. Josephine was born on the Caribbean island of Martinique in the West Indies where she grew up on a slave plantation called Trois-Ilets. Josephine was one of three girls and often referred to herself as the bejeweled slave.
Before being called Josephine, what name did she go by?
    Rose. Marie Josephe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie was born to Joseph and Rose-Marie Tascher in 1763. When Napoleon married her, he began calling her Josephine.
Was Josephine supposed to marry Alexandre de Beauharnais in 1779?
    n. Josephine's sister, Catherine, was supposed to marry Alexandre, but she died before the marriage could take place so Josephine's father accompanied Josephine to France for the marriage. She was sixteen when she married Alexandre de Beauharnais. Josephine and Alexandre had a son named Eugene and a daughter named Hortense. Eugene eventually became Viceroy of Italy and Hortense became Queen of Holland.
Josephine was put in prison during the Reign of Terror.
    t. In 1794, Josephine was sentenced to prison for a short time during the French Revolution, however, Alexandre was sent to the guillotine. While in prison, Josephine had an affair with a man named Lazare Hoche. It was only because of the downfall of Robespierre that Josephine was released from prison and not beheaded.
Who introduced Josephine to Napoleon Bonaparte?
    Barras & Paul Barras. General Paul Barras was political director at Toulon when he first met Napoleon. At the time he introduced Josephine to Napoleon, Paul was looking at a way to get rid of Josephine because of her accumulating debts.
How many times were Napoleon and Josephine married?
    2. Josephine and Napoleon were married for the first time on March 9, 1796 and again in a religious ceremony before he became Emperor of France. As a wedding present, Napoleon gave Josephine a gold medallion with the inscription 'To Destiny' on it.
At first, did Josephine want to marry Napoleon?
    n. Josephine thought that Napoleon was strange when he was around women and hesitated before eventually marrying him.
Who had the marriage annulled?
    Napoleon. Napoleon had the marriage annulled because Josephine was allegedly infertile.
Where did Josephine live after Napoleon annulled their marriage?
    Malmaison. Josephine returned to their home in Malmaison after the annulment. While they were still married, Josephine bought the château outside of Paris while Napoleon was in Egypt.
When did Josephine die?
    May 29, 1814. Josephine Bonaparte died of a chill she received while walking in her gardens. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Swedish Palaces

Drottingholm Palace - the summer residence

Drottningholm Palace. Photo: Norberg Design AB/Dick Norberg.

Interior Drottningholm Palace. Photo: The Royal Court/Alexis Daflos.
Throughout the years Drottningholm Palace has changed and the royal personages who lived here have left their mark on the palace's interiors – influenced by changes in style and fashion trends.

Hedvig Eleonora, Lovisa Ulrika and Gustav III have all contributed markedly to the interior decoration of the reception halls.
Hedvig Eleonora's state bedchamber was the heart of the state reception suite in the 1600s and was created by the country's foremost artists and craftsmen.
You will also find a series of rooms decorated for Gustav III during the 1700s, amongst others the Chinese Salon featuring the popular trend of that period – chinoiserie.
The reception halls are open year round for visitors. Also available are guided tours for individuals, guided tours for groups, theme visits as well as guided tours for children.

 Photo: The Royal Court
Since the reign of Johan III's there has been a palace garden at Drottningholm.
At that time it was primarily a utility garden and was situated approximately where the parking area, east of the theatre, is located today.
The park and gardens at Drottningholm have been developed in three stages, inspired by three main styles.
Photo: The Royal Court

Queen Hedvig Eleonora

The oldest garden was planted at the end of the 1600s upon the initiative of Queen Hedvig Eleonora.
The work was headed by the palace architects Tessin – father and son. This part of the garden is known as the baroque garden and is situated directly adjacent to the palace, enclosed by four lime-tree lined avenues.

The architects were inspired by newly planted palace gardens in France at the time, where the ideal was strict, ordered and symmetrical.
The baroque garden lay in disrepair during the 1800s but was restored in the 1950–60s by Gustaf VI Adolf.
Photo: The Royal Court

The parterre de broderi

Closest to the palace lies the parterre de broderi, which originally had an intricate embroidery pattern of box-wood hedges and coloured gravel.
Today, these have been replaced by a large lawn with box-wood hedges on the outer edges as well as a band of crushed brick and black hyperite.
Photo: The Royal Court

Adriaen de Vries

At the centre stands the Hercules fountain – bronze figures created by the sculptor Adriaen de Vries.
All the bronze sculptures located in the park are created by de Vries and came to Sweden as booty after wars in Prague 1648 and Fredriksborg 1659.

After a walled terrace comes the parterre d´eau with ten jets of water and lawns enclosed by box-wood hedges.
Photo: The Royal Court

Seven cascades

A cascade construction made of seven cascades on each side of the centre avenue make up the background of the parterres – a liberal free interpretation of the original Tessin cascades, which were torn down a the beginning of the 1800s .
Beyond the cascades lie four hedge groves and the crown fountain. Today the groves remain as they were formed during the 1700s.
The southwest grove contains a theatre of leaves, with hedges forming the walls and stage.
Photo: The Royal Court

Muncken's hill

Between the groves and Muncken's hill at the bottom of the baroque garden lie the high-grown remains of the star hedge formation, made up of pruned hedges.

The parterres situated at the palace´s water front are a reconstruction of those from 1723.
Photo: The Royal Court

A more "natural" park

In the middle of the 1700s a garden was built around the Chinese Pavilion. At this time, the strict, symmetrical garden ideal began to be abandoned for a more natural park.
Queen Lovisa Ulrika was inspired by this new line of thought and commissioned the Chinese Pavilion's architect, Carl Fredrik Adelkrantz, to plant chestnut tree-lined avenues around the Chinese Pavilion so visitors could view the landscape.
The groves to the east of the Chinese Pavilion were planted as bowers for carefree open air rendezvous.

Exotic birds

Large aviaries were built for exotic birds. One remains – however it has undergone significant alterations and differs greatly from its original form.  
A menagerie was built beyond the groves, however all that is left today is a pond.
Behind the pavilion itself lies a tree grove containing a mix of Swedish trees, giving a “wild" impression and providing a frame of nature romanticism to the Chinese Pavilion.

King Gustav III

When Gustav III took over Drottningholm in 1777, he wished to make room for the new park ideal from England – the natural landscape park or English garden.
Fredrik Magnus Piper, who studied these gardens first hand in England, was commissioned in 1780 to create such a garden to the north of the baroque garden.
This garden is made up of two ponds with canals, islets and beautiful bridges, expansive lawns as well as tree-lined avenues and tree groves. Walkways wind themselves all around the park.

The English garden

Viewing paths stretch through the English garden and partly through the baroque garden providing beautiful viewpoints and landscape vistas.
Only a few of all the romantic buildings that were planned for the English garden were completed – for instance the neo-Gothic style tower.
Photo: The Royal Court
Copies of ancient marble statues are found at a number of locations in the park. The originals were purchased by Gustav III during his journey to Italy in 1783-84.
The intention was to provide beautiful surprises amongst the foliage or a visual endpoint from a distance.


South of the baroque garden towards Lake Mälaren lies Kungsängen and a small canal system, developed in the 1800s. Oscar II and his family planted their oak tree here on October 30, 1881.
The tradition was continued by Gustaf VI Adolf in 1973 and by Carl XVI Gustaf in 1996.

The Stockholm Palace

Genealogy of the Royal Family of Sweden

House Bernadotte

HM Carl XIV Johan King of Sweden and Norway
(Born as: Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte)
(Since January 5th, 1805:) Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte Prince of Ponte-Corvo
(Since August 21st, 1810:) HRH Carl Johan Crown Prince of Sweden
(Since November 4th, 1814:) HRH Carl Johan Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway
* Pau, Béarn, January 26th, 1763
† Royal Palace, Stockholm, March 8th, 1844
Created Prince of Ponte-Corvo, January 5th, 1805; Governor of Hamburg, 1807-1809; Crown Prince of Sweden, August 21st, 1810; Crown Prince of Norway, November 4th, 1814
King of Sweden and Norway, February 5th, 1818 (crowned: Storkyrkan, Stockholm, May 11th, 1818 and Nidaros Domkirke, Trondheim, September 7th, 1818)
Fieldmarshal of France, May 18th, 1804

Hotel Bonaparte, Rue de Rocher, Paris, August 16th, 1798:
Bernardine Eugénie Desirée Clary
(In Sweden styled as Queen Desideria)
* Marseille, November 8th, 1777
† Royal Palace, Stockholm, December 17th, 1860
(Crowned: Stockholm, December 21st, 1829)
Child from this marriage:
  1. HM Oscar I Joseph François Otto King of Sweden and Norway
  2. HM Oscar I Joseph François Otto King of Sweden and Norway
    (Born as: Oscar Joseph François Otto Bernadotte)
    (Since August 21st, 1810:) HRH Oscar Joseph François Otto Prince of Sweden
    (Since January 26th, 1811:) HRH Oscar Joseph François Otto Prince of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland
    (Since February 5th, 1818:) HRH Oscar Joseph François Otto Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Södermanland
    * Rue Monceau, Paris, July 4th, 1799
    † Royal Palace, Stockholm, July 8th, 1859
    Created Duke of Södermanland, January 26th, 1811; Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway, February 5th, 1818; Viceroy of Norway, February 12th - October 11th, 1824
    King of Sweden and Norway, March 8th, 1844 (crowned: Storkyrkan, Stockholm, September 28th, 1844)
(by proxy) Munich, May 22nd and (in person) Storkyrkan, Stockholm, June 19th, 1823:
Joséphine Maximilienne Eugénie Napoléone de Beauharnais Princess von Leuchtenberg
(Born as: Joséphine Maximilienne Eugénie Napoléone de Beauharnais)
(Since December 29th, 1807:) Joséphine Maximilienne Eugénie Napoléone de Beauharnais Princess di Bologna
(Since May 28th, 1813:) Joséphine Maximilienne Eugénie Napoléone de Beauharnais Princess di Bologna, Duchess di Galliera
(In Sweden styled as Queen Josefina)
* Leuchtenberg Palace, Milan, March 14th, 1807
† Royal Palace, Stockholm, June 7th, 1876
Created Princess di Bologna, December 29th, 1807; created Duchess di Galliera, May 28th, 1813

Children from this marriage:
  1. HM Carl XV Ludvik Eugen King of Sweden and Norway ("Kron-Kalle")
    (Born as: HRH Carl Ludvik Eugen Prince of Sweden, Duke of Skåne)
    (Since March 8th, 1844:) HRH Carl Ludvik Eugen Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Skåne
    * Royal Palace, Stockholm, May 3rd, 1826
    † Palace, Malmö, September 18th, 1872
    Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway, March 8th, 1844; Viceroy of Norway, February 7th, 1856; Prince-Regent of Sweden, 1857
    King of Sweden and Norway, July 8th, 1859 (crowned: Storkyrkan, Stockholm, May 3rd, 1860 and Nidaros Domkirke, Trondheim, August 5th, 1860)
  2. Married:
    Storkyrkan, Stockholm, June 19th, 1850:
    Wilhelmina Frederica Alexandrine Anna Louise Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau
    (In Sweden styled as Queen Lovisa)
    * Palace at the Korte Voorhout, The Hague, August 5th, 1828
    † Royal Palace, Stockholm, March 30th, 1871

    Children from this marriage:
    1. HRH Lovisa Josefina Eugenia Princess of Sweden ("Sessa")
      (In Denmark styled as Queen Louise)
      * Royal Palace, Stockholm, October 31st, 1851
      † Amalienborg, Copenhagen, March 20th, 1926 
        1. Married:
          Chapel, Royal Palace, Stockholm, July 28th, 1869:
          Frederik VIII King of Denmark ("Freddy")
          (Born as: HSH Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl Prince zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg)
          (Since July 31st, 1853:) HH Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl Prince of Denmark
          (Since December 21st, 1858:) HRH Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl Prince of Denmark
          (Since November 15th, 1863:) HRH Christian Frederik Vilhelm Carl Crown Prince of Denmark
          * Yellow Palace, Amaliegade, Copenhagen, June 3rd, 1843
          † (on the street during a walk, declared deceased in hospital) Hamburg, May 14th, 1912
          Crown Prince of Denmark, November 15th, 1863
          King of Denmark, January 29th, 1906 (proclaimed: Amalienborg, Copenhagen, January 30th, 1906)
        2. HRH Carl Oscar Vilhelm Fredrik Prince of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland
          * Royal Palace, Stockholm, December 14th, 1852
          † Royal Palace, Stockholm, March 13th, 1854
      1. HRH Frans Gustaf Oscar Prince of Sweden, Duke of Uppland
        * Haga Palace, Stockholm, June 18th, 1827
        † Christiania Castle, Christiania (today: Oslo), September 24th, 1852
      2. HM Oscar II Fredrik King of Sweden and Norway, the Goths and the Wends
      3. HRH Charlotte Eugenia Augusta Amalia Albertina Princess of Sweden
        * Royal Palace, Stockholm, April 24th, 1830
        † Royal Palace, Stockholm, April 23rd, 1889
      4. HRH Carl Nikolaus August Prince of Sweden, Duke of Dalarna
        * Drottningholm Palace near Stockholm, August 24th, 1831
        † Royal Palace, Stockholm, March 4th, 1873
        Altenburg, April 16th, 1864:
        HH Therese Amalie Karoline Josephine Antoinette Princess of Saxe-Altenburg, Duchess of Saxony
        (In Sweden styled as Princess Theresia)
        * Frisdorf, December 21st, 1836
        † Haga Palace, Stockholm, November 9th, 1914

        HM Oscar II Fredrik King of Sweden and Norway
        (Since June 7th, 1905:) HM Oscar II Fredrik King of Sweden
        (Born as: HRH Oscar Fredrik Prince of Sweden, Duke of Östergötland)
        * Royal Palace, Stockholm, January 21st, 1829
        † Royal Palace, Stockholm, December 8th, 1907
        Heir Pressumptive to the Throne, July 8th, 1859
        King of Sweden and Norway, September 18th, 1872 (crowned: Slotkyrkan, Stockholm, May 12th, 1873 and Nidaros Domkirke, Trondheim, July 18th, 1873; deposed as King of Norway by Act of Parliament: June 7th, 1905; abdicated as King of Norway: October 26th, 1905) 

        Schloß Biebrich near Wiesbaden, June 6th, 1857:
        Sophie Wilhelmina Marianne Henriette Princess von Nassau
        (Since August 22nd, 1844:) HH Sophie Wilhelmina Marianne Henriette Princess von Nassau
        (In Sweden styled as Queen Sofia)
        * Schloß Biebrich near Wiesbaden, July 9th, 1836
        † Royal Palace, Stockholm, December 30th, 1913

        Children from this marriage:
        1. HM Gustaf V King of Sweden
        2. HRH Oscar Carl August Prince of Sweden, Duke of Gotland
        3. HRH Oscar Carl Wilhelm Prince of Sweden, Duke of Västergötland
        4. HRH Eugen Napoleon Nikolaus Prince of Sweden, Duke of Närke
          * Drottningholm Palace near Stockholm, August 1st, 1865
          † Waldemarsudde, Djurgården, Stockholm, August 17th, 1947
        5. HM Gustaf V King of Sweden
          (Born as: HRH Oscar Gustaf Adolf Prince of Sweden, Duke of Värmland)
          (Since September 18th, 1872:) HRH Oscar Gustaf Adolf Crown Prince of Sweden and Norway, Duke of Värmland
          (Since June 7th, 1905:) HRH Oscar Gustaf Adolf Crown Prince of Sweden, Duke of Värmland
          * Drottningholm Palace near Stockholm, June 16th, 1858
          † Drottningholm Palace near Stockholm, October 29th, 1950
          Crown Prince of Sweden, September 18th, 1872; Crown Prince of Norway, September 18th, 1872 - June 7th, 1905
          King of Sweden, December 8th, 1907
          (Was a well known tennis player, at tournements he used the name "Mr. G.")
        6. Married:
          Royal Chapel, Schloß Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, September 20th, 1881:
          Sophie Marie Viktoria Grand-Ducal Princess and Margravine von Baden
          * Schloß Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, August 7th, 1862
          † Villa Svezia, Rome, April 4th, 1930

          Children from this marriage:
          1. HM Gustaf VI Adolf King of Sweden
          2. HRH Carl Wilhelm Ludvig Prince of Sweden, Duke of Södermanland
          3. HRH Erik Gustaf Ludvik Albert Prince of Sweden, Duke of Västermanland
            * Royal Palace, Stockholm, April 20th, 1889
            † (spanish influenza) Drottningholm Palace near Stockholm, September 20th, 1918
          4. HM Gustaf VI Adolf King of Sweden
            (Born as: HRH Oscar Fredrik Vilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf Prince of Sweden, Duke of Skåne)
            (Since December 8th, 1907:) HRH Oscar Fredrik Vilhelm Olaf Gustaf Adolf Crown Prince of Sweden, Duke of Skåne
            * Royal Palace, Stockholm, November 11th, 1882
            † Hospital, Helsingborg, September 15th, 1973
            Crown Prince of Sweden, December 8th, 1907
            King of Sweden, October 29th, 1950
          1. St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, June 15th, 1905:
            Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Princess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Duchess of Saxony ("Daisy")
            (Since July 17th, 1917:) HRH Margaret Victoria Charlotte Augusta Norah Princess of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
            (In Sweden styled as Crown Princess Margaretha)
            * Bagshot Park, Surrey, January 15th, 1882
            † (ear infection) Royal Palace, Stockholm, May 1st, 1920

          Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace, London, November 3rd, 1923:
          Lady Louise Alexandra Marie Irene Mountbatten
          (Born as: HSH 
          Louise Alexandra Marie Irene Princess von Battenberg)
          * Schloß Heiligenberg, Jugenheim near Darmstadt, July 13th, 1889
          † St. Görans Hospital, Stockholm, March 7th, 1965
          Children from the first marriage:

          1. HRH Gustaf Adolf Oscar Fredrik Arthur Edmund Prince of Sweden, Duke of Västerbotten
          2. HRH Sigvard Oscar Fredrik Prince of Sweden, Duke of Uppland
          3. HRH Ingrid Victoria Sofia Louise Margareta Princess of Sweden
            * Royal Palace, Stockholm, March 28th, 1910
            † Kancellihuset, Fredensborg Palace, Fredensborg, November 7th, 2000
          Storkyrkan, Stockholm, May 24th, 1935:
          Frederik IX King of Denmark ("Rico")
          (Born as: HRH Christian Frederik Franz Michael Carl Valdemar Georg Prince of Denmark)
          (Since May 14th, 1912:) HRH Christian Frederik Franz Michael Carl Valdemar Georg Crown Prince of Denmark
          * Sorgenfri Castle, Lyngby near Copenhagen, March 11th, 1899
          † Kommunehospitalet, Copenhagen, January 14th, 1972
          Crown Prince of Denmark, May 14th, 1912
          King of Denmark, April 20th, 1947 (proclaimed: Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, April 21st, 1947)

          HRH Bertil Gustaf Oscar Carl Eugen Prince of Sweden, Duke of Halland ("Nappe")
          * Royal Palace, Stockholm, February 28th, 1912
          † Villa Solbacken, Djurgårdsbrunn, Stockholm, January 5th, 1997
          Heir Pressumptive to the Throne, September 15th, 1973 - May 13th, 1979

          1. Married:
            Chapel, Drottningholm Palace near Stockholm, December 7th, 1976:
            Lilian May Davies
            * 3 Garden Street, Swansea, August 30th, 1915
          2. HRH Carl Johan Arthur Prince of Sweden, Duke of Dalarna
          Child from the second marriage:
          1. Stillborn daughter
            * Ulriksdal Palace near Stockholm, May 30th, 1925

Desiree by Annemarie Selinko

From Madame Librarian


Desiree by Annemarie Selinko

Desiree is a child of the French Revolution as her father has instilled the values of the Rights of Man.  As her world is changing around her in France, Desiree only worries about the future of her family.  It is her destiny that she meets the young general, Napoleon.  Napoleon and Desiree fall in love and the marriage is arranged.  However, Napoleon's quest for power causes him to reject Desiree for a women who will help his rise to power.  Desiree marries a rival of Napoleon, and her marriage slowly brings to Desiree's rise to power with her husband.  Even though Desiree and Napoleon have chosen separate paths, their lives continue to intertwine.  The relationship between Desiree and Napoleon show just how important someone's first love truly is.

This was not the first time I read this book, but the second.  It was recommended to me by my aunt when I was in middle school.  I started to reread it again because of the stress of a fatal accident of my husbands grandfather.  This book is an excellent book to take a person away from the stresses of their lives.  It took me months to finish it because I was so tied into family and school work (I started in September).  Even though it was only the second time reading it, I really really recommend it to anyone who enjoys classic literature, romance, or historical fiction.  I recommended it to a friend in the past because she liked books like Jane Eyre.  She really did enjoy the book and I hope that other people will read this book and it can take them them back to the past and away for a little while.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Memoirs and campaigns of Charles John: prince royal of Sweden John Philippart

Book Review, DESIREE by Annemarie Selinko

From Historically Obsessed 


 I never would have guessed that before Napoleon loved Josephine there was someone else in his life, someone who played a very important role in the French Revolution. Désirée Clary the daughter of a silk merchant in Marseilles loved Napoleon before he was anything to the French people. She fell in love with him when he was a poor low ranking officer in the military. I knew that Napoleon’s mother Mme. Letizia never really liked her daughter in-law Josephine and now I know why. He was supposed to marry Désirée and I do not think Letizia ever really accepted Josephine for that reason. Napoleon was engaged to Désirée and her sister Julie married Napoleon’s older brother Joseph. It was when Napoleon left Marseilles to go to war and then onto Paris to clear up his military standing that he left Désirée behind. It was one thing to borrow her money she had been saving to buy him a fancy new uniform but to not come back for her that was just too much. Désirée took it upon herself to sneak off to Paris and track him down like the dog he was.

Upon arriving in Paris Désirée knew exactly where to find him. She went to the infamous “La Chaumiére”, Mme. Tallien’s salon where all the important people of France hung out. After being mistaken at the entrance for an escort Désirée was not admitted in until she approached a man in uniform and asked him to be “a part of him”. Désirée quickly discovered the reason Napoleon never came back for her. Josephine, the enchanting Josephine from the saucy island of Martinique was hanging on him. Désirée had the unfortunate coincidence of showing up at the salon at the precise moment that the couple announced their new engagement to each other. Like any other woman who had just found she had lost the only love she knew, she furiously threw her glass of champagne at Josephine’s feet and stormed out into the rain. Wandering Paris in the rain and tears she found herself by the Sein River. Emotionally distraught she tried to climb the fence to throw herself into the river but something held her back. Even I was shocked that when she turned around to see what or who it was: it was the man in uniform at the salon who had saved her two times in one day.

They say what is meant to be is meant to be and it is just fate. It was mean to be that the hero General Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte pulled her off the bridge and saved her life. Jean-Baptiste was a realist; he loved France with every fiber of his being and did his duty to his country which during the times of the revolution was not an easy thing to do with the fractions constantly shifting. After Bernadotte met Désirée by the river she disappeared into thin air. It was not until her brother in law had arranged a special dinner party to impress a heroic general did the two cross paths again. This time though Bernadotte was not going to let her disappear again.

4.5/5 Really really liked it. If there ever was something I did not understand about Napoleon and his life it is covered in this book. He made so much sense in this book that you actually seem to get the insanity that was going around at the time. The French Revolution as I have said before is a complicated time period and sometimes the stories get all mashed up. It is hard to decide where one story starts and one ends because they all blend and link together. This book is not the case at ALL. It makes everything click into place and just make sense of a messy situation. I have to implore anyone who wants to get the full picture on Napoleon and all the amazing people in his life, this book will give you everything you can possibly want to understand in the most unconfusing way possible.

PG Rating, very mild with sexual references and violence
FTC-Book was sent to me by the publisher

Désirée: The Bestselling Story of Napoleon's First Love
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Desiree Clary Trivia Game!

1. Where was Desiree born?
  • Marseilles
2. Desiree was engaged to Napoleon.
  • True
3. What was Desiree's lasting connection to the Bonapartes?
  • God-daughter
4. Desiree married one of Napoleon's marshals, which one?
  • Marmont
5. Of which country did Desiree become Queen?
  • Poland
6. What religion did Desiree follow?
  • She was an atheist
    Roman Catholic
7. Desiree's husband led Sweden into war against his former colleague Napoleon's France.
  • True
8. Under what name did Desiree become queen?
  • Desideria
9. What was Desiree's son called?
  • Carl
10. How many reigning monarchs are descended from Desiree Clary?
  • Four


1 - Marseilles  

She was born in Marseilles in 1777, where her father was a silk merchant.

2  - True
They were briefly engaged to each other but Napoleon broke it off when he met Josephine.

3 - Sister-in-law
Desiree's sister Julie married Napoleon's brother Joseph. She became Queen of Spain within Napoleon's conquered territories.

4 - Bernadotte
She married Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte in 1798.

5 - Sweden
She became Queen of Sweden in 1818 when her husband become King Carl XIV Johan. Although a foreign general, Bernadotte was respected in Sweden as a leader who could stand up to Napoleon. He was adopted as heir by the previous King, Carl XIII Johan. Norway was under Swedish rule at this time.

6 - Lutheran (converted when she became Crown Princess)
Desiree and her husband converted to Lutheranism when they became adoptive members of the Swedish royal family.

7 - True 

As King of Sweden, Bernadotte formed an alliance with Russia which led to war against France. But there was no face to face fight with Napoleon.

8 - Desideria 
She was called Queen Desideria, a Latinised form of the name Desiree.

9 - Oscar
He was called Oscar and became King Oscar I. Ironically he married Josephine de Beauharnais, grand-daughter of Napoleon's Josephine, his mother's rival.

10 - Four
In addition to the kings of Sweden and Norway, the monarchs of Denmark and Belgium are also descendants of the merchant's daughter and her soldier husband.