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

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  4,759 Ratings  ·  267 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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Apr 25, 2016 Arah-Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top, lod, i-said
What is history but a fable agreed upon? – Napoleon

The book opens with the spirit of Marie Antoinette observing Josephine as she writes at her escritoire.

She’s not what one would call a beauty, yet he worships her with a passion that verges on madness! Big hazel eyes, I grant you, and yes, long curling lashes, a slender, graceful form, artful dress, etc., etc. - but are these qualities that bewitch? Perhaps it is the caress of her musical voice that has cast a spell. (I know about spells.) No
Sep 19, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 19, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 25, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it as much as the first one in the trilogy. On to the last book!
Nov 18, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Carrie Slager
Feb 10, 2014 Carrie Slager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-bought
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
Sep 12, 2012 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 06, 2015 Lou rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book more than the first once of the series, largely because it was slightly less drawn out and her relationship with Bonaparte becomes a lot more interesting. However, I still find the diary format tedious to get through as it lacks momentum. I can understand why it was chosen but for me it makes the story a bit more disjointed.

I'd definitely recommend this book for people who enjoy historical fiction and want to know more about Josephine and Bonaparte's lives without having to
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
Kate Forsyth
This is the second book in Sandra Gullard’s trilogy about the Empress Josephine, one of the most fascinating women in history. Told in first person, in diary form, the book has an immediacy which brings the character of Mrs Napoleon Bonaparte vividly to life. I think it helps to know the story well; I’ve read biographies of Napoleon and Josephine before and am studying the period, and so find it intriguing to have the story told in such a fresh and engaging way. However, if you are interested in ...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.
Apr 15, 2010 Chrissie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio, france, hf, favorites, series
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..
Bailey Caskey
Apr 28, 2013 Bailey Caskey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Aug 19, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Amy Bridges
Jul 24, 2011 Amy Bridges rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so loving Josephine.
Jun 27, 2007 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second book of the Josephine trilogy
Apr 05, 2011 Wanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
excellent! the research for this book was superb. can't wait to get the 3rd book.
Aug 26, 2015 Jae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loving this series - onto the 3rd book in the trilogy!
Dec 29, 2016 Chrissy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading the entire trilogy; adored book #1 and this 2nd one did not disappoint.
Oct 10, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm obsessed with Josephine!!
I love these books.
A must read for any history buff.
May 24, 2016 Animlgrl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
This is the second book in the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy.

About as good, maybe even a faster read than the first.
This one was even less like a diary than the the first, where there are longer passages with great detail that one would not write in a diary.
Though there are longer lapses in dates....when Josephine is injured, when they are packing up to move....obviously she could not write during these times, and these lapses make historical sense.

It is a slow roller (and yet a fast read, perfect
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
Oct 18, 2009 Jody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 09, 2014 Meagan rated it liked it
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
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
Nov 25, 2013 Mariana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"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
Stacey (wanderlustforwords67)
Sandra Gulland does it again in the second Josephine Bonaparte trilogy. Her mastery at character conversation is unrivaled. I am utterly transformed and absorbed by these historical fictions. All my senses are alive and in tune with what Josephine and all the other superbly developed characters are feeling. I enjoy the easy accessible flow of her writing style. One thing I have loved in the first two books is her attention to historical detail and her historically accurate footnotes. One thing I ...more
Jan 27, 2010 Suze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 18, 2010 Mashell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 26, 2013 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, historic
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
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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 about Sandra Gulland...

Other Books in the Series

Josephine Bonaparte (3 books)
  • The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. (Josephine Bonaparte, #1)
  • The Last Great Dance on Earth (Josephine Bonaparte, #3)

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“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
“I nodded yes. Another deceit. I have become a person I do not care for.” 1 likes
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