Women and the Garden The history of the garden and the various roles women played in that history has been a great interest to me for many years. Naively I thought I would write a book on the subject since the information is well hidden in many books on these two subjects. I am not a writer. Nor am I a historian.
Early 19th-century British caricatures presented Josephine in a sexual and political light. The dislike which her female in-laws had for her is often set in high relief.
Laure Permon, a close friend of Josephine's, noted her remarkable grace but poor teeth. She is said to have had many lovers. Where, in the past, accounts highlighted her lovers and infidelities, today's story of the Empress almost shows her as a model woman and wife, submissively allowing her life be directed by Napoleon.
The biography here attempts to chart a believable course through such choppy waters. When she was sixteen years old, Rose travelled to Brest France with her father to marry nineteen-year-old Alexandre de Beauharnais, who was also born in Martinique.
The couple was married at the church of Noisy-le-Grand, a town to the east of Paris on 13 December, At the end of NovemberAlexandre wrote a letter accusing Rose of premarital impurity and infidelity and demanding either that she return to Martinique or that she go into a convent.
The following year Alexandre, faced with a legal challenge from his wife, recanted on every single one of his accusations. On 5 March,a document enshrining the separation of the Beauharnais couple was signed.
In this out-of-court settlement, Alexandre recognised Hortense as his own daughter.
He also agreed to pay Rose 5, livres annually as a pension, as well as to provide an additional 1, livres for his daughter — Rose was later to maintain that he did not honour this financial agreement. That autumn, Rose moved to Fontainebleau, to be with her ex-father-in-law and aunt.
It is possible that this move was brought on by Alexandre's financial difficulties. The latter, weighed down by his father's debt, was unable to pay for his wife to stay in the Abbey.
Both partners were to suffer financial problems for the next few years; Rose was forced to sell some of her jewels to support herself. InRose returned to Martinique with her daughter Hortense, possibly to escape from her debts, and she stayed there for two years.
When the Revolution reached the island inRose and Hortense hurriedly left Martinique to return to France, leaving behind a dying father and an ill sister.
Rose stayed in Fontainebleau for nearly a year, occasionally travelling up to Paris. Rose established herself in Paris and formed a circle of contacts, using her husband's prominent position to her advantage.
After the second attack on the Tuileries and the massacre of the Swiss Guards 10 August,Rose sent for her children. She tried to send them to safety in England with the prince of Salm, but Alexandre refused and asked the prince, a friend of his, to bring his children back to Paris. Alexandre had by then changed his political career for an army one, rapidly rising through the ranks to be put in charge of the defence of the city of Strasbourg in September In October, Rose left Paris and went to stay in Croissy, not far to the west of Paris, with Hortense, using her husband's political status to form influential political alliances, such as the wily Revolutionary politicians, Jean-Lambert Tallien and Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier.
However, after the failed defence of Mainz, he resigned just a few months later in August. The following March, Alexandre was arrested on account of his capitulation at Mainz and for his involvement with General Custine.
He was eventually incarcerated in the Prison des Carmes Paris. A few weeks later, Rose was also arrested and sent to the Carmes, on account of her political activity. There were rumours that whilst in prison, Rose had an affair with Hoche and that Alexandre was romantically linked with Delphine de Custine.
On 23 July,Alexandre de Beauharnais was unjustly executed, on a trumped-up charge of participation in a conspiracy. He was in fact victim of a political witch-hunt and a ghastly campaign to reduce prison population.
Rose would have suffered the same fate had it not been for the fall of Robespierre five days later 28 July.
Thus, Alexandre's widow was freed at the beginning of August: Rose was yet again financially inconvenienced — a recurring problem — and it is at this time that she is rumoured to have had a liaison with Paul Barras, a rising political and military star and future chief of the Directory.
He is said to have taken her under his wing and protected her financially. In the autumn of the following year, she sent her children away to school in Saint-Germain-en-Laye a town close to western Parisand it is around this time that Rose met Napoleon.The Campaign in Italy.—On March 8, , he contracted a civil marriage with the widow of Alexandre de Beauharnais, Marie-Joséphine-Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, who was born in Martinique, in , of a family originally belonging to the neighborhood of Blois.
On 23 June, , Marie-Joseph Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie was born on the plantation known as the Trois-Îlets in Martinique. She was the eldest daughter of Joseph Gaspard de Tascher and Rose-Claire des Vergers de Sannois who were both descended from French nobility.
The marriage of Josephine and the great Napoleon was one of turbulence, yet Josephine had a great impact on his decisions and his rise to power and fame. Josephine was a respectable and likable person with a high social status which aided to Napoleon and his advancements.
Napoleon and Josephine as King and Queen of Italy, portraits by Andrea Appiani, c. (at least Josephine’s one is dated Napoleon is wearing a petit habillement very similar to the one.
Napoleon Bonaparte: was a French military and politician leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and its associated wars. Book Review: Josephine: A Life of the Empress. By Carolly Erickson. Robson Books. This is a fascinating account of the Empress Josephine, born Rose Tascher on the island of Martinique (she was also known as Yeyette but was called by the name of Rose when she first married).
Joséphine de Beauharnais is known in history as the first wife of the French emperor Napoleon I and in turn, the first empress of the French. Her first husband was Alexandre de Beauharnais, with whom she bore a son, Eugene and a daughter, Hortense.