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The Joséphine Bonaparte Trilogy (Josephine Bonaparte #1-3)

4.45  ·  Rating Details ·  3,346 Ratings  ·  433 Reviews
An irresistible story of love and loss, of political intrigue and revolution, and of the transformation of an impressionable young girl into one of the most sophisticated and powerful women in history, The Josephine Bonaparte Trilogy comprises three spellbinding books inspired by the life of Josephine Bonaparte. From her simple childhood on the French island of Martinique ...more
Published September 2nd 2002 by Headline Review (first published January 1st 2002)
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Feb 20, 2013 Marita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History lovers
Written as if it were a diary, this fictional biography of Joséphine de Beauharnais is very well researched. It is a detailed account which is supported by extensive notes of the facts, as well as quotes from sources.

Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie, later known as Joséphine, was born in Martinique. During a time of great unrest in Martinique she left for France where she married Alexandre, the Vicomte de Beauharnais. However, not only was there unrest in Martinique, but also in France w
Tara DePompei
Jan 06, 2009 Tara DePompei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Tara by: Laurie Stein
I have finished the first one and have to say that it is one of those rare books where you wonder why your children cannot make their own dinner . . . after all, you need to get back to your book! ;-) Seriously, it was a truly wonderful read. (Thank you, Laurie!) I am on page 200 of the second book now and am also enjoying it. I am not as spellbound as with the first, but it is with me wherever I go . . .

I have now finished all three! Amazing. I was bawling at the end at 2 am Sunday night.
Feb 21, 2012 Allana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
History was never my strongest subject. I've never been good at remembering names & dates, and it all seemed so dull to me, I couldn't find the meaning of what I was learning. I think, now, that the problem was not so much that I couldn't remember, but it didn't hold interest for me because it wasn't personal. Josephine B takes care of that (kinda). It does (as the author acknowledges) leave out certain 'characters' and events, in order to simplify the narrative - so it can be contained with ...more
Jul 19, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've already rated and reviewed this book, probably 5 stars and probably a glowing review, b/c it is one of my all-time favourite novels. I've read it 3 times over the past 10 or so years, and I love it the same or more each time. I am just fascinated with this woman who grew up on a sugar plantation in the Caribbean, who married into aristocracy at a young age, who survived an unhappy marriage, being separated at a time when a woman would have very few options to support herself, who survived t ...more
Aug 30, 2008 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes historical novels
Recommended to Katie by: Patty W.
These three books are sooooooo good. They are written in the form of a diary - Josephine Bonaparts diary and so you get a very intimate look into the lives of Jesephine, Napoleon, and their surrounding friends and family.
They begin with Josephine as a young girl on the Island of Martinico and take the reader all the way through the Reign of Terror, Napoleons rise to power, his exile, and eventually the death of Josephine. There are tons of fascinating characters and all the stories are so fasci
May 09, 2008 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished the first book, and I really enjoyed it. I wanted to wait until I finish the series to write my review, but so far, very enjoyable.

Update: Finished the second book in the series. Josephine/Rose is a very charismatic character, and I like the letters/diary format.

New Update: I finished the third book. A wonderful series!
Jan 02, 2008 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historic Fiction Lovers
Few times have I read a trilogy where all three books were equally good. I could not put them down. You will be shocked how much you don't know about the French Revolution and the Bonaparte's. What an eye opener. I bought this hard to find and out of print collection online and gave it to my mother for Christmas.
Jul 21, 2015 Kelownagurl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-it
Wow that was a great read. I loved her character and I loved the history.
Mirah W
Jul 22, 2011 Mirah W rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 1- Really fascinating. The format made the reading go quickly...combining diary entries and letters received by Rose (Josephine). Interesting portrayal of Rose's experiences during the French Revolution and the people involved. I thought it was very educational but done in a way that didn't make it seem like I was reading a history book. Rose's life before, during, and after the Revolution truly was fascinating. I kept wondering when Bonaparte would enter the picture and it didn't happen th ...more
Sep 09, 2008 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every woman I know
Recommended to Michelle by: I found it at B&N
What can I say about this collection. Utterly addictive.
This book still haunts me- but in a good way. I just finished it a couple days ago and I'm hungry for more. I think about Josephine Bonaparte all time. I just loved being a part of her world!

First off Sandra Gulland is a polite, accurate and graceful writer. The three books connected perfectly and I really formed a strong connection with every character. After I read this I went on to find another Josephine book that might give me even mor
Oct 11, 2011 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, historic
This trilogy is absolutely amazing! It is written in a very personal diary-style and therefore we see everything through Josephines point of view. It's a true story (though Sandra Gulland definetly changed a few things or maybe 'interpreted' them in her way), and I really love reading books about true happenings.
Josephine lived a very adventurous life; she went through great and terrible fases but she always maintained optimistic and strong. And that tone is very dominant throughout the whole st
Aug 28, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Josephine B. Trilogy comprises three acclaimed, bestselling novels that draw the reader into the delicate yet passionate relationship between Josephine and Napoleon Bonaparte: The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.; Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe; and The Last Great Dance on Earth. Together they form an irresistible epic, tracing Josephine’ s transformation from impressionable young girl to canny and compassionate wife, to confidante empress and one of the most sophisticated and ...more
Feb 13, 2009 Ingrid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've decided we need additional book categories. This particular book, rather than being "historical fiction," would fall under "historical fiction fiction fiction." I'm giving it a 3, therefore, because it was a little too much fiction for my taste. That being said - it DOES inspire me to read more about Napoleon and Josephine, so I may choose one of the books that Gulland recommends in her "Selected Biography" list. Stay tuned! Also - we need a little tag to indicate when we've not finished a ...more
Jan 31, 2009 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was such a good series! I'm a huge history buff and I especially love stories based on, in or around the French Revolution and English Monarchy. This series chronicles the life of Josephine Bonaparte before her rise as the 1st Empress of France through her married and rise to fame as Napoleon's famous wife. Gulland writes it through Josephine's diary entries which makes for a fast and relatable read. I really enjoyed these books and reccomend them to anyone who is interested in this period ...more
Sep 03, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ginger, Heather, Capri, Ivy
Recommended to Amy by: Angie
These are my favorite books of all time. I learned so much about the French revolution. Also I just love Josephine. I also loved the way the books explained so much about the 1800's. It was even interesting to read about the plays that they would go to. I really wish that some more of my sisters would read them!
Mar 30, 2008 Lexie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lexie by: Mykin
It took some time to get into the first book, but through most of the first and the second and third, I was very emotionally connected to the characters and the story. I enjoyed learning about Napolean and all that went on in his day. I was mad at him one day and pleased with him the next. I would definitely recomend these ones.
Jun 22, 2007 Christie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a 3 book series that you will love. It really gives a sweeping portrayl of Josephine's life and a time in history when things were different. These books carry you from her childhood, through turmoil with her first husband, and then into her falling for Napoleon and all that happens.

You will really love this series if you like historical fiction.
C.M. Mayo
Mar 31, 2009 C.M. Mayo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An epistolary novel that brings the French Revolution and not only Josephine, but many of France's most intriguing personalities to such life, it sometimes seemed hard to believe I was reading fiction. Gorgeous.
Feb 02, 2011 Diana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars aren't enough for this trilogy. The series has special meaning to me. After a more than three year dry spell, these were the first three books I not only read, but fairly flew through. I have since become a huge fan of Sandra Gulland.
Jun 07, 2010 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. I could not put this triology down. Napoleon does not appear until the end of book one. However, the life of his wife Josephine is so interesting. This book is written in journal form, so you sense her feelings about what is happening around her. A must read. I bet you can't read just one.
Feb 10, 2007 Rozonda rated it really liked it
It brings back the positive image of Josephine that was so common in her time and even later (she is affectionately portrayed, for example,in Conan Doyle's historical novels)in a believable and intelligent way. Loved it.
Apr 15, 2008 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes historical fiction
Recommended to Judy by: Laura Freeman
The historical novel captivated my spite of the number of pages, the book was a relatively quick read. Insightful, historical and credible, I really enjoyed reviewing my French historical knowledge. I want to visit Mal Maison...Josephine's country property outside France.
It was very interesting to see actual letters written from Napoleon to Josephine. It was very good.
Oct 03, 2012 Melinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have ever read!!!
Sep 12, 2007 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such great historical fiction! I absolutely sped through this entire series.
Jul 21, 2011 Micki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend
Stephanie Renee
Dec 03, 2012 Stephanie Renee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe is the second book of the acclaimed Josephine B. Trilogy. This story begins the year of 1796 in Paris, France just after Josephine's marriage to Napoleon. Written in confessional diary format in the voice of Josephine, it is one of the greatest love stories of all time. This sequel book takes the reader into the heart and head of Josephine as she adjusts to being wed to the obsessively passionate and always willful military leader: Napoleon. We visit the ballrooms ...more
Jun 26, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very fascinated by this work, an interesting mix of fact and fiction. Sandra Gulland has made me a Josephine B. fan and now I have added her recommended reading to my TBR list.

I felt a little overwhelmed by the size of the book; what if it was boring? Well, it was anything but boring, from the beginning, the author draws you in gently and hooks you by the brain. I had to take this eveywhere with me just in case I had an opportunity to squeeze in a page or paragraph. She created just the r
Oct 24, 2008 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These are 3 of my favorite books of all time. I have always been a reader, even as a little one, but after reading the first Josephine B. book about 6 years ago, I found a whole new love for reading and a brand new love for historical fiction.

We all know Josephine Bonaparte as Napoleon Bonaparte's wife but never could I have guessed that her life was more interesting then her crazy husband's.

The journey begins in Martinque where Rose Tascher (she changes her name to Josephine when she marries
Jun 20, 2007 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i read this series for the first time when i was staying in london and i nearly made a trip to paris simply to visit malmaison.

i had no real knowledge of josephine prior to reading this series and precious little understanding of the french revolution. these books are loaded with history, but not to the point one feels 'lectured to'. written in the style of journals, they give the reader insight into the author's interpretation of josephine's personal development from childhood through death. s
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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)
  • Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe (Josephine Bonaparte, #2)
  • The Last Great Dance on Earth (Josephine Bonaparte, #3)

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