NAPOLEON IN LOVE by R.F. Delderfield


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Napoleon in and out of love is scrutinized with taste and compassion in this review of the little Emperor's fruitless quest of romantic fulfillment. Against a background of two marriages and a dozen significant mistresses, R.P. Delderfield traces the Corsican's military-political career, and speculates on its nature versus the nature of his amorous exploits. Susceptible to women's tears, generous, grateful, Napoleon lavishly endows the women he loves, heaping honors upon the husbands he selects for them. A striking case of this is his treatment of Desiree, whose husband, the Count Bernadotte, received great favors from him and treacherously betrayed him. Of Josephine, the author tells a tale of mutual love, destroyed by mutual underevaluation; of the Polish Marie Walewska, a drama of devotion on the woman's part, but a devotion geared toward Poland rather than romance; of the Empress Marie-Louise, an epic of vacuity. Neither a book for scholars nor sensation hunters, this is a sober investigation of Napoleon, a man of formidable energy, immense shrewdness, and, where women were concerned, childlike ingenuity.

Publisher: Little, Brown-AMP