The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B

The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
The diary of a Creole beauty from Martinique who became Napoleon's wife. It traces her adjustment to French high society, her love affairs in order to survive the revolution--her husband is guillotined--and her romance with Napoleon. First volume in a trilogy.In a series of fictional diary entries, Josephine describes her life from its early days in a rural village to her fateful introduction to Napoleon Bonaparte

Simon and Schuster
In this first of three books inspired by the life of Josephine Bonaparte, Sandra Gulland has created a novel of immense and magical proportions. We meet Josephine in the exotic and lush Martinico, where an old island woman predicts that one day she will be queen. The journey from the remote village of her birth to the height of European elegance is long, but Josephine's fortune proves to be true. By way of fictionalized diary entries, we traverse her early years as she marries her one true love, bears his children, and is left betrayed, widowed, and penniless. It is Josephine's extraordinary charm, cunning, and will to survive that catapults her to the heart of society, where she meets Napoleon, whose destiny will prove to be irrevocably intertwined with hers.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 1999, c1995
Edition: 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction ed
ISBN: 9780684856063
Characteristics: 436 p. ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 21, 2016

The Josephine B. trilogy are my favourite books. I could not put them down!

Jan 18, 2016

Good story. Started to drag at end. 1st of series on Josephine Bonaparte.

Aug 18, 2015

Loved this series. Easy read

Jul 02, 2015

The “Jospehine B Triology” is the best series I’ve read in years. It is epic in length and subject material, and I was completely absorbed into her world. I highly, highly recommend.

martins_mom Aug 22, 2014

I know I am not the first to praise Gulland's writing. One of the most astonishing things about this book is how the author's extensive research has been woven into the story to illuminate the period and the characters rather than weighing them down.

eileencartwright May 27, 2014

did not finish it

Nov 11, 2013

I knew little of Josephine Bonaparte's life before her time as Napoleon's wife, and this story, although fiction, fleshed her out a bit for me. I was expecting 'many lives' but found a progression like any other life would have had living through the tumult that was the French Revolution. Rose 'Josephine' sounded the same in her diary no matter what her age was supposed to be. I think this was not intended but only a result of the author wanting to get through the colonial childhood and get to the adult life in France. At times I was wanting more detail but since this is a diary, I understood that a lot would be left to my imagination. As historical fiction, I think this book succeeds, and I am looking forward to the second and third in this trilogy.

Sep 02, 2013

Distant Hours by Kate Morton

Phiaju Jun 06, 2013

This book is so good, almost finished with the second then on to the last. She's an amazing writer.

Nov 14, 2012

Great read!

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Oct 30, 2016

AdamLevineRocks thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at SMPL

To Top