Saturday, March 17, 2012

Louisa of Prussia on Josephine Bonaparte...

How delightful to find another precious antique book containing chapters on Josephine. You can download this one for free here: Louisa of Prussia and Her Times, by Luisa Muhlbach

Author Louise (Luise) Muhlback (1814-1873) was an historical fiction writer born in Germany.  She wrote several novels on monarchs, including one on Henry VIII.  Reading up on her, I've gotten the feeling that she may have been the Jean Plaidy of the time...Anyone else have any information on this author? Please let me know!


Chapters 18 to 20 are dedicated to Josephine especially- but of course Napoleon is part of this book throughout.  Here is an excerpt from Chapter 19:

Bonaparte had scarcely deigned to glance at the French ambassadors and their ladies, who had received him at the foot of the staircase. All his thoughts centred in Josephine. And bowing slightly to the ladies and gentlemen, he had impetuously rushed upstairs and opened the door, satisfied that she would be there and receive him with open arms. When he did not see her, he passed on, pale, with a gloomy face, and resembling an angry lion.
Thus he now rushed into the front room where he found Josephine. Without saluting her, and merely fixing his flashing eyes upon her, he asked in a subdued, angry voice: "Madame, you do not even deem it worth the trouble to salute me! You do not come to meet me!"
"But, Bonaparte, you have given me no time for it," said Josephine, with a charming smile. "While I thought you were just about to alight from your carriage, you burst already into this room like a thunder-bolt from heaven."
"Oh, and that has dazzled your eyes so much that you are even unable to salute me?" he asked angrily.
"And you, Bonaparte?" she asked, tenderly. "You do not open your arms to me! You do not welcome me! Instead of pressing me to your heart, you scold me! Oh, come, my friend, let us not pass this first hour in so unpleasant a manner! We have not seen each other for almost two months, and--"
"Ah, madame, then you know that at least," exclaimed Bonaparte; "then you have not entirely forgotten that you took leave of me two months ago, and that you swore to me at that time eternal love and fidelity, and promised most sacredly to write to me every day. You have not kept your oaths and pledges, madame!"
"But, my friend, I have written to you whenever I was told that a courier would set out for your headquarters."
"You ought to have sent every day a courier of your own for the purpose of transmitting your letters to me," exclaimed Bonaparte, wildly stamping his foot, so that the jars and vials on the table rattled violently, while Zephyr jumped down from his arm-chair and commenced snarling. Josephine looked anxiously at him and tried to calm him by her gestures.

Another interesting bit of history:)

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