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Archive for the ‘Napoléon & Joséphine’ Category

Empress-Marie-Louise-and-the-king-of-rome-Gerard

Napoléon and Marie-Louise: the politics of love

This year is the bicentennial of the marriage of Napoléon Bonaparte and Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria and, amazingly enough, this is the first time an exhibition is dedicated to dedicated to this second Empress of the French. This one is set in the palace of Compiègne, 70 miles north-east of Paris. In 1810 Napoléon was […]

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Frances Fanny Burney d Arblay

Women under Napoléon, a conference of the Burney Society in Paris

To be held on June 10 and 11. Our theme will be Women under Napoléon, says the Burney Letter, with keynote talks from Professor Frédéric Ogee of the Université-Paris Diderot and Professor Peter Sabor, from the Burney Centre at McGill University. There will be five Panels looking at Female Journalists and the Revolution; Fashion, Dress, […]

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1812 Prianishnikov

A new view of Napoléon’s Russian campaign

Napoléon’s military campaign of 1812 ranks among the worst man-made catastrophes in history. Of his Grande Armée of 600,000 men, only 40,000 returned to France.

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Pauline Bonaparte by Robert Lefevre

Napoléon and Pauline Bonaparte: incest?

Researching For The King entailed delving more than once into the Memoirs of Joseph Fouché, Duc d’Otrante, Napoléon’s Minister of General Police (and many other things besides.) Here is what Fouché has to say about Pauline: Of Napoléon’s three sisters, Elisa, Caroline et Pauline, the latter, famous for her allurements, was the one of whom […]

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Josephine wine carafe

Empress Joséphine’s Wine Cellar

The idea for this exhibition, now over, said the press release, came from the inventory drawn up after the death of the Empress Josephine which listed the contents of the cellar at Malmaison – over 13,000 bottles. The list of wines served to guests in the house is striking for the number of crus mentioned […]

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Girodet Jean Baptiste Belley

Citizen Jean-Baptiste Belley: from slavery to the Convention Nationale

This Portrait of Citizen Jean-Baptiste Belley by the famous French artist Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson, caught my eye, even though I knew nothing of the model. This painting is – literally – revolutionary. Not because it represents a Black man. Representations of men and women of African descent in early-modern European paintings were not uncommon, […]

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Josephine de Beauharnais Bonaparte Prudhon

Joséphine and Bonaparte: a romance

Every marriage is complex, this one more than most. At first glance, the 26 year old General, with his angular face and brusque manners, and the graceful queen of the brilliant but corrupt demi-monde of the late Revolution seem to form an odd couple. Dominique de Villepin, in Le soleil noir de la puissance, notes […]

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Napoleon Marie Louise Marriage Rouget

Notorious Royal Marriages: Napoléon and Marie-Louise

I am beginning to see many Valentine’s Day posts on the blogosphere… This one by Arleigh at historical-fiction.com, via Tea at Trianon, stands out by the amount of work, and knowledge of the field of historical fiction, that went into it. Yes, blogging is a labor of love. As for me, with your permission, I […]

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Napoleon in coronation robes Gerard

Ben Weider’s Napoleonic Collection at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

The late Ben Weider, of bodybuilding fame, was a passionate collector of Napoleonic memorabilia, the founder of the International Napoleonic Society, and a proponent of the poisoning theory of Napoleon’s death, which I plan on addressing here shortly. Mr. Weider, a Montreal native, bequeathed his Napoleonic collection to that city’s Museum of Fine Arts, where […]

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Vigee Lebrun Caroline Bonaparte Madame Murat

Painting Caroline Bonaparte’s portrait, by Madame Vigée-Lebrun

Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun is best remembered today for being Marie-Antoinette’s favorite portraitist. In fact her career went on for decades, with unabated success, after she left France in October 1789, at the very beginning of the French Revolution. For years Madame Lebrun traveled to Italy, Germany, England and Russia, where she enjoyed the patronage of the […]

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