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Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe (Josephine Bonaparte, #2)
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Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe (Josephine Bonaparte #2)

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4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  3,482 ratings  ·  227 reviews
Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe is the much-awaited sequel to Sandra Gulland's highly acclaimed first novel, The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. Beginning in Paris in 1796, the saga continues as Josephine awakens to her new life as Mrs. Napoleon Bonaparte. Through her intimate diary entries and Napoleon's impassioned love letters, an astonishing portrait of...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 28th 1999 by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jennifer
Ok, so here's what happened. I read these and my then-boyfriend started reading them over my shoulder and took them from my hands as soon as I finished them. My sister read them for 10 hours on the train from Rochester to New York, to the detriment of her masters degree thesis. About 10 of my friends have read them, most of my relatives, and I've put them in the hands of total strangers in bookstores. I've given them as gifts about 5 times, the whole set. They are marvelous.
Laura
I am so captivated by the life of Josephine Bonaparte. Her in-laws completely hated her and tried every possible way- lies against her virtue- to get Napoleon to divorce her. In the novel, she tries her best to be true to herself. She endures a major accident at a spa to get her menstral cycle going again- the procedures were nothing more than torture. She was thrown into conspiracy and intrigue and through it all comes to learn how much she loves her husband. I can't wait to read the last novel...more
Heather
I am REALLY enjoying this series! I love the way this author depicts Josephine! There is little said about her in history and what is said isn't very flattering! With this book you really feel like you are inside her head and feel what her heart feels. You understand why she did some "controversial things." I'm afraid to read the last book because I know I'm going to cry...not a happy ending. BUT, I just read that one of the last things Napoleon said as he was dying was his beloved Josephine's n...more
Lee
I have been saving up the reading of this second book of Sandra Gulland’s Josephine Bonaparte trilogy because I knew it would be great. I wasn't disappointed. I loved the feeling of intimacy while reading about the details of Josephine's day to day life. This is the most enjoyable way to learn history and I especially appreciated the footnotes and the enormous amount of research obviously done. Even with the journal style entries the writing flows beautifully and never feels choppy. I highly rec...more
Mercedes Rochelle
This is the second book of the Josephine Bonaparte series which takes us up to 1800. I did read book one and will probably buy book 3 because it is fun to read and easy to get through. But overall, I don't find her character terribly convincing, mostly because she doesn't seem to match the biographies I read about Josephine. I think part of the inherent problem is the first person voice. Most biographers I read depicted Napoleon's wife as totally charming to the point that she more than compensa...more
Carrie Slager
After hearing about her incredible early years, in Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe focuses on Josephine’s most well-known years. And although she has gained a sort of infamous reputation from her supposedly numerous affairs while Bonaparte was in Egypt, this is not the way Sandra Gulland portrays her. You know what? This portrayal feels much more real, more authentic than the typical ‘immortal cheating harlot’ angle that Josephine is always portrayed from. In Gulland’s portrayal, we get to see ho...more
Chrissie
I have written a review of the entire trilogy and put it under the firt book entitled The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B..
Brenda
Book Number Two: Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe was just as enjoyable as the first book in this series. Reading the author's afterword leads me to believe that she has a more sympathetic view of Josephine than do other historians. Since I don't know anything at all about her everything I read was new to me. I can see how Josephine's actions could be taken in two ways. Again, reading this book gives me a desire to learn more about this period of time. I really think that history books should be p...more
Erica Davis-Hernandez
#2 book in the historical fiction trilogy of Josephine Bounapartes life. Written as her personal journal entreis it follows historical events of the time while embellishing on her love affair and marriage with the Emperoro of France. A fun read.
Bailey Caskey
I'm enjoying this series so much! Fascinating subject matter, great writing & rich character development. this series makes me want to learn more about the French Revolution. I have a hard time putting these books down!
Susan
Vivid descriptions that made me feel as if I were there...going to start on the last book in the trilogy about Josephine, the first wife of Napoleon next
Micaylah G
May 15, 2014 Micaylah G rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any history lover of this era
Shelves: history
In the second book you will be riveted by history folding out in the eyes of Josephine. Knowing Napoleons' side of the coin; flipping it over completes the picture.

It amazes me that I even started reading this trilogy as it certainly looks like a bodice ripper romance. I was fully engrossed in her diary entries a side of the Lady that I had never considered.

It is definitely worth the read if you are a history buff. It's a fast read and I was worried that the third one wouldn't arrive before I ha...more
Wanda
excellent! the research for this book was superb. can't wait to get the 3rd book.
Monica
Second book of the Josephine trilogy
Meagan
There's a certain kind of historical fiction, the kind with a very personal story and perspective, that I really enjoy. If it's well-researched you get all of the history you'd find in nonfiction but it's wrapped up in an intimate narrative. The facts of history are so much easier to absorb when they're given in the context of actual people's lives. And the hint of drama and show doesn't hurt anything, either. Jean Plaidy is one of my favorites in historical fiction. (I learned so much about the...more
Jody
I regret not reading this second volume sooner after the first. Most of what I needed to remember was captured in passing mentions in this book, too. I loved this one. Could not put it down for story alone.

Thus begins the story of Josephine (nee Rose) Bonaparte and her marriage to Napoleon. The position of this version of the story is that Josephine is not wildly in love with him. (I can't remember why she chose to marry him from book one, but I don't think it was for love. My notes indicate she...more
Andrea
Enjoyed this one a bit more. A depressing series though. I was glad and a little relieved to see that Josephine had some happiness with Bonaparte in this one, but knowing that it ends badly makes it hard to enjoy. Poor Josephine did not have a happy life.

It's very interesting/amusing to read about everything they thought they knew about the human body. All of their 'cures' and treatments, and being bled and leeches... so crazy. Seems like they had a better chance of surviving if they just stayed...more
Christy B
Book #2 in the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy. This installment picks up where the last one left off: the day after Napoleon and Josephine's wedding in 1796. It ends at the beginning of 1800 when Napoleon and Josephine move into the Tuileries Palace.

I can't remember how many times I thought, "Poor Josephine!" Those Bonapartes are a family to be reckoned with and they stop at nothing to foil Napoleon's marriage to her.

This installment is probably going to end up being my favorite because it has my f...more
Mariana
"Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe" is the sequel to Sandra Gulland's first novel, "The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B". This story of 352 pages begins in Paris in 1796, after Josephine's marriage to Napoleon Bonaparte, and ends when her husband becomes Emperor of France. Her many tales, which include walking in the footsteps of former royalty, struggling with her finances, watching Napoleon rise to power, and meeting the most important men in all the country, make her story all the m...more
Suze
This is Book Two in the continuing saga of Josephine Bonaparte. I enjoyed it very much, but not as much as the first book in the trilogy. The first book,
'The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.' was fascinating and at the same time, rather horrifying in it's reality. It grabbed me from the very beginning, enough that I bought the second and third books in the trilogy.

Josephine (who used to be Rose but was renamed by her husband Napoleon - imagine that!) overcomes so many obstacles i...more
Mashell
I had to remind myself that the french are much more open about physical relationships and art forms than I. However, I find myself being able to excuse that in exchange for historical information and a book that can capture a variety of emotions from me. This book found all my emotions; I laughed, chuckled at sarcastic remarks, gasped at the cruelty of family, cried at some of Josephine's misfortunes, heartaches and reliefs. I fell in love with both Josephine and Napoleon Bonaparte. I have read...more
Erin
Aug 31, 2008 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, everywhere
Recommended to Erin by: Some old lady at the Hyannis Library Book Sale.
Another great read in the Josephine B. Trilogy. I couldn't put it down. This is very much along the same lines as Philippa Gregory's novels. For someone who does not have a great sense of history (nor the memory for it), I enjoyed that I learned a lot about this amazing woman. I know that not everything written in the book is true, but the basic backbone of the story is all based on fact, and the author does a great job filling in the details. The only complaint I have is that there were a lot o...more
Kate Lawrence
This second volume in a trilogy of Josephine's life was another enjoyable read. The trilogy's diary format creates a smooth narrative flow. Volume 2 begins with her marriage to Bonaparte and covers the subsequent four years, 1796-1800. Her story really brings home the uncertainty and danger of treachery that is everyday life for those in power.

[Spoiler Alert]

We re-live Bonaparte's military victories and defeats, his sometimes questionable treatment of the soldiers who serve under him, his and J...more
Mimi
The middle book of a trilogy about Josephine Bonaparte, (thankfully) it catches you up if you haven't read the first one. Starting with their marriage, it goes through four tumultuous years. Told in fragments from diaries and letters - very well done, intriguing, and brings to life a character about whom I knew very little. I will be looking for the other two.
Julia
The second book by Gulland about Josephine Bonaparte's life is as good as the first one, though things get difficult for Josephine with her marriage to Napoleon.

Gulland keeps the diary-like style that made me love the first book so much and keeps us again so close to everything in Josephine's life that it seems like we're actually there.
This book is a work of fiction and people who are interested in history and have researched Josephine, Thérèse Tallien, Paul Barras and the likes, know that man...more
Rachel
I enjoyed the second novel in Gulland's three-book series. Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe covers the early years of Josephine's and Napoleon's marriage and Napoleon's victories in Italy and his conquest in Egypt. The novel ends as Napoleon is named the first consul of France.

I debated ranking the novel three or four stars. I liked the book, and I recommend the series; however, there is something that doesn't alleviate it to a higher rating. I'm not sure what--the plot may have been a little lig...more
Leslie
Loved this 2nd book in the Josephine series. The diary format makes it easy and fun to read and gives you a great insight into Josephine's thoughts and feelings. Her character becomes well developed as well as her relationship to Bonaparte, her children and her duty to France. The historical detail is rich and you learn a lot about the era. You can imagine the social life, the clothes, the parties and the politically tense environment. Can't wait to dive into the 3rd and final book!
Kelly
I raced through this story...I don't have any idea about French history but loved the beautiful love story between Napoleon and Josephine. I was sucked right in and was amazed at the details, the change in society as well as their relationship. It was wonderful.
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I'm the author of the JOSEPHINE B. TRILOGY, the internationally best-selling novels based on the life of Josephine Bonaparte, Napoleon's wife. The Trilogy is now published in 17 countries.

I most recently published THE SHADOW QUEEN, the "sister" novel of MISTRESS OF THE SUN. Both novels are set in the Court of Louis XIV, the Sun King.

An American-Canadian, I was born in Miami, Florida, and lived i...more
More about Sandra Gulland...
The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. (Josephine Bonaparte, #1) The Josephine Bonaparte Collection: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe, and the Last Great Dance on Earth The Last Great Dance on Earth (Josephine Bonaparte, #3) Mistress of the Sun The Shadow Queen

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“I nodded yes. Another deceit. I have become a person I do not care for.” 2 likes
“I confess that I enjoy this vocation, in spite of my sex. I feel a certain thrill, as if I were visiting a lover. But it is money I court, money that woos me, and the intoxicating power to earn a very great deal.” 1 likes
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