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- Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe by Sandra Gulland
- Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe by Sandra Gulland | The Mad Reviewer
What were some of the most pressing issues of the time? What is the most interesting aspect of the period? But here we meet a Josephine who often seems conflicted regarding her feelings towards her husband. She speaks of her love for him but also admits in her diary that he is, in many ways, a stranger to her. What may have been her reasons for the marriage? How did Josephine's feelings for Napoleon change over time? Josephine initially kept the fact of her marriage to Napoleon hidden from her two young children, twelve-year-old Hortense and fourteen-year-old Eugene. While Eugene looked forward to the benefits of a masculine presence in his life, Hortense was decidedly unhappy with her mother's marriage.
From a modern perspective, how might Josephine have eased the situation for both her children and her new husband? Napoleon's family appears to be a venal lot at best -- his sisters, greedy and grasping, his brothers, power-hungry -- all of them plotted continually against outsiders and even each other. Many modern marriages are similarly assaulted by family members with varying agendas.
What differences do you perceive between the late eighteenth century and the late twentieth century in this regard? Despite Napoleon's passion and Josephine's growing love for her husband, their marriage seems to have no hope of succeeding. Discuss the pressures -- family, duplicitous friends, politicians, each with a particular axe to grind -- that beset their union from the beginning.
Given their respective characters, what might a meeting between the couple and a modern marriage counselor have been like? Josephine and Napoleon agreed to share living expenses; even the purchase price of a country property was to be shared equally between them. Additionally, Josephine was required to pay for whatever expenses her children incurred. In this respect they had a somewhat modern marriage, but without the benefit, to Josephine, of any means of earning an income. What position did this put Josephine in?
What options were open to her? Was she irresponsible in going so deeply into debt? Were her financial involvements ethically questionable? Was her spending frivolous, or might it be considered a legitimate business investment? Was it unusual for a woman to get involved in large-scale business ventures in the late eighteenth century? How unusual would it be today?
Would Josephine's financial situation and dealings be viewed differently if she had been a man? Napoleon announces that "the Romance of the Revolution is finished; it's time to begin its history. Were Napoleon and Josephine right to turn against Barras? Sandra Gulland offers an array of remarkable historical characters, some known to us from our history books, others more obscure. Which characters intrigued you and made you want to learn more about them? How do Napoleon and Josephine seem as people? More or less as history has depicted them?
Or did you discover elements unknown to you before reading Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe? Which characteristics do you admire? Which do you deplore? As we observe this period in history through Josephine's eyes, it seems that people's crimes, and sins, even their foibles and their affectations, have changed little in the two centuries that have passed. What differences do you see? What do you think we can learn through the distance of historical perspective?
Sandra Gulland has chosen to make her trilogy of the life of Josephine Bonaparte fictional. How would this work differ had the author chosen to turn her extensive research into a narrative of nonfiction?
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What kind of distance would this have created? Written in the form of a diary, this work of fiction departs from the typical style of the historical novel. Did you feel it brought you closer to Josephine, in particular, as she wrote of the joys and trials of her life? Would you be interested in other novels or historical fiction written in this format?
Josephine fulfilled many traditional roles: mother, wife, hostess. She also involved herself in politics and business. Did she wield power? If so, in what way, and to what end? What role did she play in Napoleon's rise to power? Of all her roles, which do you think was the most important to her? A few wrinkles on edges.
Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe by Sandra Gulland
Thank you for supporting our small, family-owned business! Fi ISBN: Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe. Gulland, Sandra. As New. Advance Reader's Edition. The continuing adventures of Josephine Bonaparte. Second in a trilogy. Seller: Cellar Stories Bookstore Published: Condition: As New. First Edition; First Printing. Binding strained and visible at title page and bfep.
Used book in very good condition. Some cover wear, may contain a few marks. Toronto, Canada: Harper Perennial, Previous owner's name and date in ink on ffep, pages darkened, very minor wear to edges, else very good plus. Pages spotless.. Soft Cover. Soft cover. Near Fine. Clean, unmarked copy. Beginning in Paris in , the saga continues as Josephine awakens to her new life as Mrs.
London: Review. First British Edition; First Printing. Trade PB. Light reading creases. Heavy book and priced accordingly. Used book in good condition. Has wear to the cover and pages. Contains some markings such as highlighting and writing. Ex-library with the usual stamps.
New York: Scribner.
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Near fine. First edition.
Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe by Sandra Gulland | The Mad Reviewer
Trade Paperback. Advance Reader's Copy.
Review, London, Edition Unstated. Size: Octavo standard book size. Text body is clean, and free from previous owner annotation, underlining and highlighting. Binding is tight, covers and spine fully intact. Edges very slightly spotted or marked. Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: Under 1 kilogram. Category: Fiction; Romance. ISBN: Dewey Code: Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request.
Inventory No: RB New York: Scribner, Crease to front cover. Some rubbing to inside front cover. Mark to bottom edge of pages. Otherwise clean, tight, and unmarked..