The Second Empress

The Second Empress

A Novel of Napoleon's Court

Book - 2012
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National bestselling author Michelle Moran returns to Paris, this time under the rule of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte as he casts aside his beautiful wife to marry a Hapsburg princess he hopes will bear him a royal heir

After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon's power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.
Marie-Louise knows what she must do, and she travels to France, determined to be a good wife despite Napoleon's reputation. But lavish parties greet her in Paris, and at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her husband's affection, including Napoleon's first wife, Joséphine, and his sister Pauline, the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. Beloved by some and infamous to many, Pauline is fiercely loyal to her brother. She is also convinced that Napoleon is destined to become the modern Pharaoh of Egypt. Indeed, her greatest hope is to rule alongside him as his queen--a brother-sister marriage just as the ancient Egyptian royals practiced. Determined to see this dream come to pass, Pauline embarks on a campaign to undermine the new empress and convince Napoleon to divorce Marie-Louise.
As Pauline's insightful Haitian servant, Paul, watches these two women clash, he is torn between his love for Pauline and his sympathy for Marie-Louise. But there are greater concerns than Pauline's jealousy plaguing the court of France. While Napoleon becomes increasingly desperate for an heir, the empire's peace looks increasingly unstable. When war once again sweeps the continent and bloodshed threatens Marie-Louise's family in Austria, the second Empress is forced to make choices that will determine her place in history--and change the course of her life.
Based on primary resources from the time, The Second Empress takes readers back to Napoleon's empire, where royals and servants alike live at the whim of one man, and two women vie to change their destinies.
Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307953032
Branch Call Number: F Mor


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Jun 01, 2017

My first historical fiction read. It was good. The story was easy to keep up with no matter if I stopped chapter to chapter or mid chapters. This kind of book is good for a break between your serious reads.

Jun 06, 2014

Ms. Mornan's books are consistently my go to for something quick, easy and interesting.

Oct 16, 2013

I really enjoyed this novel about the second marriage of Napoleon. The characters were interesting and I love how at the end when you find out what happens to the characters in real life.

Oct 20, 2012

I have always been a huge Michelle Moran fan, and although this book is a great short read, its not her best.
Still, its esp worthwhile for those who haven't read books by this author before. Enjoy!

ehbooklover Sep 28, 2012

This engaging historical novel about the last six years of Napoleon's reign focuses on his relationships with his second wife Maria-Lucia of Austria and his sister Pauline. The story is effectively told from the viewpoint of three different characters. A quick and easy read!


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