THE AMAZING MRS. BONAPARTE by Harnett T. Kane

THE AMAZING MRS. BONAPARTE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This tenth of Harnett Kane's fictional biographies shows, perhaps, greater depth of research than its predecessors. He has explored the background of the Napoleonic era on both sides of the ocean; he has traced the way of life as it would have been reflected in both the social and political climate in which Betsy Patterson and Jerome Bonaparte grew up; he has studied primary sources to get a sense of the principals as well as subordinates in his story. And yet, somehow, the research comes between the author and the characters. A tale that rivals fiction never seems to get off the ground. Here we have a well-born daughter of a prosperous Baltimorean, who wins the admiration of Bonaparte's youngest brother, Jerome, and against all odds marries him, only to be confronted with rejection on the part of his family, particularly the all-powerful brother who had more ambitious dynastic plans in mind. This in itself has a romantic appeal. Then come the years of struggle for recognition ending with the half-hearted acceptance of the rights of their son. But the end result for this reader was a measure of indifference -- along with an acceptance of the competence of a biographical, semi-fictional work that filled in a gap in the Bonaparte picture.

Pub Date: April 5th, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday