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Napoleon’s Children

By Susan Normington

The family life of Napoleon Bonaparte.

This absorbing book describes in detail for the first time the lives of Napoleon Bonaparte’s children: his only legitimate heir, the King of Rome, and his three illegitimate children, Emilie Pellapra, Charles, Comte Leon, and Alexandre, Count Walewski.

It also provides a vivid account of the intense rivalry between the Bonaparte and Beauharnais families, as Napoleon’s family desperately tried to encourage him to divorce Josephine, and thus exclude the two Beauharnais stepchildren from Imperial benefits, by introducing him to other women. Finally, the role of the children in the disastrous attempt of their cousin Napoleon III to revive the glories of their father’s triumphant reign is examined.

Drawing on contemporary documents, diaries and correspondence, this highly readable account paints a vivid picture of French political life during the first half of the nineteenth century and of the machinations of the French Court. Written in a masterly story-telling style, the book will be welcomed and enjoyed by everyone interested in this period of French history.

Susan Normington is a partner in Normington & Normington Marketing Service and an elected member of Cambridgeshire County Council, where she serves on the Education Committee and the Special Advisory Group which considers school re-organization. Born in London, she was educated at Virgo Fidelis Convent and at Queen’s College, London. Having started her working life in advertising, she subsequently spent many years abroad in the Far East and in the USA, where she worked in public relations at the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and also qualified as a member of the US Board of Realtors.

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