Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
Well documented with footnotes and a bibliography, Ambition and Desire: The Dangerous Life of Josephine Bonaparte still manages to be accessible and highly engaging. Any biography of Josephine will necessarily include Napoleon, and theirs is an eye-popping story of poverty, passion, politics, ego, ostentation, and power.
A naive immigrant from the Caribbean when she landed in France, Josephine became in turn a spurned wife, a notorious high society vamp, a hero of the French Revolution, the bride of a little known Corsican military man, and a shopaholic empress who nevertheless acted as a humanizing force on her increasingly self-obsessed husband. Though he came to power in the wake of the Revolution, Napoleon’s thirst for pomp, acclaim, territory, and wealth drove him to out-Bourbon Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. This is a fascinating, instructive history with all the natural appeal of gossip.