THE EMPEROR'S LADIES by Noel B. Gerson

THE EMPEROR'S LADIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This novel of Napoleon begins with his divorce from Josephine, takes into account his affair with Maria Walewska, and, ending with the defeat at Waterloo, is primarily focused on his marriage to the Hapsburg Marie Louise. It is a favorable picture -- of Marie Louise winning Napoleon's respect -- and love, earning his mother's admiration, dealing with Josephine's arrogance unequivocally, treating Walewska as a friend, amazing the Court and Paris with her bravery during the Russian Campaign. It shows the reasons for her flight to Austria, even making excuses for her betrayal of Napoleon with the Count von Niepperg. Marie Louise's story is necessarily set against Napoleon's military career although his battles, strategy, victories and defeats are not accorded minute tactical examination, and the whole offers another look at one part of the Napoleonic legend from a discriminative viewpoint. Serious students may argue but the casual reader will find this historical fictionalizing steady-going.

Pub Date: Aug. 20th, 1959
Publisher: Doubleday