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Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Eagle in Splendor: Inside the Court of Napoleons by Phillip Mansel


Lord Roseberry once wrote that: 'No Bourbons or Hapsburgs were so imbued with their royal prerogatives as these princes of an hour'. This fascinating book tells the story of Napoleon's grand and aloof court and the strange characters who inhabited it. Napoleon wanted an aristocratic court to rival the other European monarchies and that's what he attempted to create. 

It is easy to read and full of interesting anecdotes. I especially enjoyed the tale of how Empress Josephine found her husband in bed with a lady-in-waiting and got so angry that she sent her away. Napoleon had the cheek to lose his temper and smashed up some of the furniture! Poor Josephine was apparently usually lovely and charming but Napoleon's was mostly nasty and rude.

This is a must-read for anyone interested in Napoleon's and the eccentric Bonaparte family.

I received this ebook from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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