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Napoleon: His Wives and Women

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  157 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Christopher Hibbert Introduces US to the many intriguing women behind Napoleon -- from his strong-willed mother and three sisters to his varied wives and mistresses. This lively historical account reveals Napoleon's often neglected private life and passionate relationships, in which he wildly worshiped certain women as often as he disdained others. Vividly evoking the poli ...more
Hardcover, 381 pages
Published November 11th 2002 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published October 21st 2002)
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David
Feb 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
For years I have wanted to know more about Napoleon. It seemed shameful that I should be so ignorant about one of the pivotal men of history. What I got from this book was more (and less) than I bargained for.
Napoleon was as enigmatic as they come.
A self-confident, brilliant genius at times, yet he could be blind to others and himself. He could make mistakes that were as epic as his successes. The narrative of this work focuses on his relationships with the women of his life so there isn’t much
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Cindy
This is a remarkably well researched book by the respected historian and author Christopher Hibbert. A sensational read for anyone who is interested in the intimate lives and loves of Napoleon. After reading this book, the reader will have learnt the obsessive, selfish, domineering control freak, we knew of his military and political life, was part of his personal life as well as his love interests. It appears Napoleon wasn't as amorous when the woman of his desires wasn't in fear of him and giv ...more
Marsali Taylor
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this one straight after the biography of Talleyrand, to get another viewpoint on the period. I wasn't terribly taken with it - it did give a good portrait of Napoleon as far as women were concerned, but I felt it was only half a portrait - his military life was hardly treated at all, so you were rather left wondering why on earth he was elected Emperor. It rather felt like a title or topic dictated by Hibbert's agent / publisher as suitably populist.

Also, Hibbert's writing was very hard t
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Marilyn
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's an interesting little book about Napoleon's domestic life with wives Josephine and Maria Louisa of Austria [mostly Josephine], plus a few ladies on the side like Maria of Poland, and his several sisters and his mother, and his sisters-in-law, and his step-daughter Hortense. I finished it feeling the General was more than a little henpecked by all the women in his family.

I call it a "little" book because I think it skimmed the surfaces of all those relationships. If Hibbert had concentrated
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Jill Hutchinson
Aug 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is a bit of a change from the usual Hibbert history......a little bit gossipy and more, as the title indicates, a study of Napoleon the man and his relationships with his wives, mistresses and his female relatives. He does, however, give enough of the history of Napoleon's rise and fall to provide the framework which affected how the Emperor/General reacted to the female of the species.
He was a petty, cruel, and extremely ambitious man who saw women as servants to his wishes and desire
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Kate
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historic-periods
Why did this book leave me so unimpressed? It offers a lot of the aspects that I most enjoy in historical reading: lots of quotations from conversations and letters, lots of everyday events.

It's just that-- for a book whose title speaks of wives and women, it seems to have more than enough of what Jane Austen decried as "The quarrels of popes and kings, with wars and pestilences in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all.”

Battles, military campaigns, politickin
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Vanessa
It was nice to finally get a look at Napoleon's relationship outside of the militray, and it gave a bit more understanding to him as a person rather then just as a comander and emperor. It was also nice to get to skip all the information for each of his battles that so many of his biographies focus on (but that is what he is known for). This book was a great read for a different perspective, and to end my reading on Napoleon for now. I still don't quite understand how he was able to get the loya ...more
Amanda
Oct 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Oh Napoleon...here's what I take from this book: (1) Napoleon was pretty mean to everyone, (2) Josephine and he did not in fact have a great love story (unlike the miniseries I remember watching as a kid told me they did) until he tossed her aside and lived to regret it and (3) his powerful presence made women swoon, even if he pinched their noses until they potentially bled (see point #1). The book dragged in certain spots, but all in all, I took some interesting things from it.
Sarah
Dec 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not exactly deep, but very enjoyable. Hibbert was, obviously, an excellent writer, and it seems like he had a lot of fun writing this. The St. Helena portion dragged a bit and Hibbert doesn't really speculate much about his subjects' inconsistencies (most obviously, why did Napoleon remain so buttoned-up for years and then suddenly become so promiscuous?), but that would have required a much more serious book. Good airplane/travel read.
Ali
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
من عامة الشعب لامبراطور إلى رجل منفي!… من المذهل حقا كيف تخلب السلطة ألباب العظماء… بعد قراءتي للكتاب نابليون بنظري هو مجرد قائد عسكري أصبح ديكتاتور يقلق راحة أوروبا… وما فعله بمسلمي عكا يرتقي به إلى مصاف الوحوش.
Kristine
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting look at less often thought of historical characters. And I never mind reading another book about this fascinating period.
Mariam
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
جعلني اكثر قرباً و تفهماً للدكتاتور الامبراطور نابليون ... و كم هو ضعيف امام الحب......
شيرويت
أول مرة أفهم جمله منير " فى عشق البنات أنا فوقت نابليون " :D
الله يخربيته كل ما مراته تخونه وتبطل تبعتله جوابات يروح قاتله ييجى 50 60 ألف واحد يرخى أعصابه يحرقك بجاز :D
Heidi
Sep 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: euro-monarchy
an excellent introduction to the the most influential women in Napoleon's life
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Christopher Hibbert, MC, FRSL, FRGS (5 March 1924 - 21 December 2008) was an English writer, historian and biographer. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of many books, including Disraeli, Edward VII, George IV, The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici, and Cavaliers and Roundheads.

Described by Professor Sir John Plumb as "a writer of the highest ability and in the N
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