Books by Gerard Hausman

Released: Oct. 1, 2004

A muddled novel about two great and passionate figures. Marie-Josèphe Rose—Napoleon dubbed her Josephine—grew up on Martinique, loved its tropical blooms, and tried to reproduce them in her garden at Malmaison. She had an early unhappy marriage that brought her to France, where she produced two children; her first husband was guillotined during the French Revolution. The short, disheveled Corsican Bonaparte did not impress her at first. Bits of fact—Josephine managed to keep her household intact, even to prosper upon release from prison following the death of Robespierre; Napoleon despaired of her spendthrift ways; he was mercurial in his devotions—are mentioned, but not explicated. Despite the various marriages and liaisons, sex goes unmentioned, leaving great holes populate the historical narrative. The Hausmans attribute Napoleon's death to arsenic poisoning, although that debate continues. The subject may capture readers, but it won't hold them. (chronology, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 10+)Read full book review >