Empress Joséphine

Joséphine (French: [ʒo.ze.fin də‿bo.aʁ.nɛ]; born Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie; 23 June 1763 – 29 May 1814) was the first wife of Napoleon, and thus the first Empress of the French.

Her marriage to Napoleon was her second; her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she was imprisoned in the Carmes Prison until five days after his execution. Her two children by Beauharnais became significant to royal lineage. Through her daughter, Hortense, she was the maternal grandmother of Napoleon III. Through her son, Eugène, she was the great-grandmother of later Swedish and Danish kings and queens. The reigning houses of Belgium, Norway and Luxembourg also descend from her. She did not bear Napoleon any children; as a result, he divorced her in 1810 to marry Marie Louise of Austria.

Joséphine was the recipient of numerous love letters written by Napoleon, many of which still exist. Her Château de Malmaison was noted for its magnificent rose garden, which she supervised closely, owing to her passionate interest in roses, collected from all over the world.

Joséphine in 1804
Empress consort of the French
Tenure18 May 1804 – 10 January 1810
Coronation2 December 1804
Queen consort of Italy
Tenure26 May 1805 – 10 January 1810
Born23 June 1763
Les Trois-Îlets, Martinique
Died29 May 1814 (aged 50)
Rueil-Malmaison, France
St Pierre-St Paul Church, Rueil-Malmaison, France
Alexandre de Beauharnais
(m. 1779; died 1794)

(m. 1796; div. 1810)
Full name
Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie
FatherJoseph Gaspard Tascher de La Pagerie
MotherRose Claire des Vergers de Sannois
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Early life and first marriage

Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie was born in Les Trois-Îlets, Martinique, to a wealthy Creole family that owned a sugarcane plantation, which is now a museum.[1] She was the eldest daughter of Joseph-Gaspard Tascher (1735–1790), knight, Seigneur de (lord of) la Pagerie, lieutenant of Troupes de Marine, and his wife, the former Rose-Claire des Vergers de Sannois (1736–1807), whose maternal grandfather, Anthony Brown, may have been Irish.

The family struggled financially after hurricanes destroyed their estate in 1766. Edmée (French, Desirée), Joséphine's paternal aunt, had been the mistress of François, Marquis de Beauharnais, a French aristocrat. When François's health began to fail, Edmée arranged the advantageous marriage of her niece, Catherine-Désirée, to François's son Alexandre. This marriage would be highly beneficial for the Tascher family, because it kept the Beauharnais money in their hands; however, 12-year-old Catherine died on 16 October 1777, before she could leave Martinique for France. In service to their aunt Edmée's goals, Catherine was replaced by her older sister, Joséphine.

In October 1779, Joséphine went to France with her father. She married Alexandre on 13 December 1779, in Noisy-le-Grand. They had two children: a son, Eugène de Beauharnais (1781–1824), and a daughter, Hortense de Beauharnais (1783–1837) (who later married Napoleon's brother Louis Bonaparte in 1802). Joséphine and Alexandre's marriage was not a happy one. Alexandre has abandoned his family for over a year in a brief tryst and often frequented whorehouses, leading to a court-ordered separation during which Josephine and the children lived at Alexandre's expense in the Pentemont Abbey, run by a group of Bernardian nuns. On 2 March 1794, during the Reign of Terror, the Committee of Public Safety ordered the arrest of her husband. He was jailed in the Carmes prison in Paris. Considering Joséphine as too close to the counter-revolutionary financial circles, the Committee ordered her arrest on 18 April 1794. A warrant of arrest was issued against her on 2 Floréal, year II (April 21, 1794), and she was imprisoned in the Carmes prison until 10 Thermidor, year II (28 July 1794). During this time, Josephine was only allowed to communicate with her children by their scrawls on the laundry list, of which the gaolers soon prohibited.

Her husband was accused of having poorly defended Mainz in July 1793, and being considered an aristocratic "suspect", was sentenced to death and guillotined, with his cousin Augustin, on 23 July 1794, on the Place de la Révolution (today's Place de la Concorde) in Paris. Joséphine was freed five days later, thanks to the fall and execution of Robespierre, which ended the Reign of Terror. On 27 July 1794 (9 Thermidor), Tallien arranged the liberation of Thérèse Cabarrus, and soon after that of Joséphine. In June 1795, a new law allowed her to recover the possessions of Alexandre.

Marriage to Napoleon

Bust of Josephine Bonaparte, c. 1808 CE. Marble, from Paris, France. By Joseph Chinard. Bequeathed by Miss F.H. Spiers. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Bust of Josephine Bonaparte, c. 1808 CE. Marble, from Paris, France. By Joseph Chinard. Bequeathed by Miss F.H. Spiers. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Madame de Beauharnais had affairs with several leading political figures, including Paul François Jean Nicolas Barras. In 1795, she met Napoleon Bonaparte, six years her junior, and became his mistress. In a letter to her in December, he wrote, "I awake full of you. Your image and the memory of last night’s intoxicating pleasures has left no rest to my senses." In January 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte proposed to her and they were married on 9 March. Until meeting Bonaparte, she was known as Rose, but Bonaparte preferred to call her Joséphine, the name she adopted from then on.

Ridpath-Josephine de Beauharnais
Prominent in Parisian social circles during the 1790s, Joséphine married the young general Napoleon Bonaparte

The marriage was not well received by Napoleon's family, who were shocked that he had married an older widow with two children. His mother and sisters were especially resentful of Joséphine, as they felt clumsy and unsophisticated in her presence.[2] Two days after the wedding, Bonaparte left Paris to lead a French army into Italy. During their separation, he sent her many love letters. In February 1797, he wrote: “You to whom nature has given spirit, sweetness, and beauty, you who alone can move and rule my heart, you who know all too well the absolute empire you exercise over it!” However, Josephine rarely wrote back and when she did, her letters were dry and often tepid. It is known that Josephine did not love Napoleon as much as he did, and that it took her years before she warmed to his affections. After their marriage, Napoleon was said to have kept a picture of her in his pocket which he would plant many kisses on every passing hour. Josephine, however, never even looked at the picture of her new husband that Napoleon gave her.

Joséphine, left behind in Paris, in 1796 began an affair with a handsome Hussar lieutenant, Hippolyte Charles.[3] Rumors of the affair reached Napoleon; he was infuriated, and his love for her changed entirely.[4]

In 1798, Napoleon led a French army to Egypt. During this campaign, Napoleon started an affair of his own with Pauline Fourès, the wife of a junior officer, who became known as "Napoleon's Cleopatra." The relationship between Joséphine and Napoleon was never the same after this.[5] His letters became less loving. No subsequent lovers of Joséphine are recorded, but Napoleon had sexual affairs with several other women. In 1804, he said, "Power is my mistress."[6]

In December 1800, Joséphine was nearly killed in the Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise, an attempt on Napoleon's life with a bomb planted in a parked cart. On December 24, she and Napoleon went to see a performance of Joseph Haydn's Creation at the Opéra, accompanied by several friends and family. The party travelled in two carriages. Joséphine was in the second, with her daughter, Hortense; her pregnant sister-in-law, Caroline Murat; and General Jean Rapp.[7] Joséphine had delayed the party while getting a new silk shawl draped correctly, and Napoleon went ahead in the first carriage.[8] The bomb exploded as her carriage was passing. The bomb killed several bystanders and one of the carriage horses, and blew out the carriage's windows; Hortense was struck in the hand by flying glass. There were no other injuries and the party proceeded to the Opéra.[9]

Empress of the French

Imperial Monogram of Empress Josephine of France
Imperial monogram
Jacques-Louis David 019
Joséphine kneels before Napoleon during his coronation at Notre Dame. Detail from the oil painting (1806–7) by David and Rouget

The coronation ceremony, officiated by Pope Pius VII, took place at Notre Dame de Paris, on 2 December 1804. Following a pre-arranged protocol, Napoleon first crowned himself, then put the crown on Joséphine's head, proclaiming her empress.

In her role as empress, Napoleon had a court appointed to her and reinstated the offices which composed the household of the queen before the French revolution, with Adélaïde de La Rochefoucauld as Première dame d'honneur, Émilie de Beauharnais as Dame d'atour, and the wives of his own officials and generals, Jeanne Charlotte du Lucay, Madame de Rémusat, Elisabeth Baude de Talhouët, Lauriston, d'Arberg, Marie Antoinette Duchâtel, Sophie de Segur, Séran, Colbert, Savary and Aglaé Louise Auguié Ney, as Dame de Palais.[10]

Shortly before their coronation, there was an incident at the Château de Saint-Cloud that nearly sundered the marriage between the two. Joséphine caught Napoleon in the bedroom of her lady-in-waiting, Élisabeth de Vaudey, and Napoleon threatened to divorce her as she had not produced an heir. Eventually, however, through the efforts of her daughter Hortense, the two were reconciled.

When after a few years it became clear she could not have a child, Napoleon, while still loving Joséphine, began to think very seriously about the possibility of divorce. The final die was cast when Joséphine's grandson Napoléon Charles Bonaparte, who had been declared Napoleon's heir, died of croup in 1807. Napoleon began to create lists of eligible princesses. At dinner on 30 November 1809, he let Joséphine know that -in the interest of France- he must find a wife who could produce an heir.

Joséphine agreed to the divorce so the Emperor could remarry in the hope of having an heir. The divorce ceremony took place on 10 January 1810 and was a grand but solemn social occasion, and each read a statement of devotion to the other.[11]

Empress Josephine Portrait Gold Box
Miniature portrait of the Empress by Jean Baptiste Isabey on an 18k gold snuff box crafted by the Imperial goldsmith Adrien-Jean-Maximilien Vachette. Circa 1810

On March 11, Napoleon married Marie-Louise of Austria by proxy;[12] the formal ceremony took place at the Louvre in April.[13] Napoleon once remarked that despite her quick infatuation with him "It is a womb that I am marrying".[14] Even after their separation, Napoleon insisted Joséphine retain the title of empress. "It is my will that she retain the rank and title of empress, and especially that she never doubt my sentiments, and that she ever hold me as her best and dearest friend."

Later life and death

Plate showing statues of Amenhotep III at Luxor, Egypt. Commissioned by Napoleon as a present to Josephine but she rejected it. From France. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Plate showing statues of Amenhotep III at Luxor, Egypt. Commissioned by Napoleon as a present to Josephine but she rejected it. From France. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London
1809 Lettre Josephine a Napoleon
Divorce letter from Joséphine to Napoleon, 1809
Josephine by Appiani
Portrait of Joséphine later in life by Andrea Appiani

After the divorce, Joséphine lived at the Château de Malmaison, near Paris. She remained on good terms with Napoleon, who once said that the only thing to come between them was her debts. (Joséphine remarked privately, "The only thing that ever came between us was my debts; certainly not his manhood."—Andrew Roberts, Napoleon)

In March 1811 Marie Louise delivered a long-awaited heir, to whom Napoleon gave the title "King of Rome". Two years later Napoleon arranged for Joséphine to meet the young prince "who had cost her so many tears".

Joséphine died in Rueil-Malmaison on 29 May 1814, soon after walking with Tsar Alexander I of Russia in the gardens of Malmaison. She was buried in the nearby church of Saint Pierre-Saint Paul[15] in Rueil. Her daughter Hortense is interred near her.

Napoleon learned of her death via a French journal while in exile on Elba, and stayed locked in his room for two days, refusing to see anyone. He claimed to a friend, while in exile on Saint Helena, that "I truly loved my Joséphine, but I did not respect her."[16] Despite his numerous affairs, eventual divorce, and remarriage, the Emperor's last words on his death bed at St. Helena were: "France, the Army, the Head of the Army, Joséphine."("France, l'armée, tête d'armée, Joséphine").[17]

Disputed birthplace

Henry H. Breen, First Mayor of Castries, published The History of St. Lucia in 1844 and stated on page 159 that:

"I have met with several well-informed persons in St. Lucia, who entertain the conviction that Mademoiselle Tascher de La Pagerie, better known as Empress Josephine, was born in the island of Saint Lucia and not Martinique as commonly supposed. Amongst others the late Sir John Jeremie appears to have been strongly pressed with the idea.

The grounds of belief rest upon the following circumstances to which I find allusions are made in a St. Lucia newspaper in 1831: 'It is alleged that the de Taschers were among the French families that settled in St. Lucia after the Peace of 1763; that upon a small estate on the acclivity of Morne Paix Bouche (which was called La Cauzette), where the future Empress first saw light on the 23rd of June of that year; and they continued to reside there until 1771, at which period the father was selected for the important office of the Intendant of Martinique, whither he immediately returned with his family.'

These circumstances are well known to many respectable St. Lucian families, including the late Mme. Darlas Delomel and M. Martin Raphael who were among Josephine's playmates at Morne Paix Bouche. M. Raphael being in France many years after, was induced to pay a visit to Malmaison on the strength of his former acquaintance, and met with a gracious reception from the Empress-Queen Dowager."

Henry Breen also received confirmation from Josephine's former slave nanny called "Dede", who claimed she nursed Josephine at La Cauzette. Josephine's baptism was administered by Pere Emmanuel Capuchin at Trois-Ilets but he has only stated she had been baptized there but not born. Dom Daviot, parish priest in Gros Islet, wrote a letter to one of his friends in Haute-Saône in 1802 in which he states: "it is in the vicinity of my parish that the wife of the first consul was born," at the time, Paix Bouche was a part of Castries; he asserts that he was well acquainted with Josephine's cousin who was a parishioner.

Josephine's father owned an estate in Soufriere Quarter called Malmaison, the name of her now famous French residence. It is also assumed that the de Taschers estate in Martinique was a pied-a-terre [occasional lodging] with his mother-in-law. St Lucia switched hands between England and France 14 times and at the time of Joesphine's birth there were no civil registers on the island that would explain her baptism in Martinique; however, St. Lucia's frequent change of ownership between England and France could be seen as the reason Josephine's birthplace was left out on her Birth record as it would have affected her nationality.


Josephine of Sweden & Norway c 1835 by Fredric Westin
Joséphine's eldest granddaughter, Joséphine, Queen consort of Sweden and Norway. Portrait by Fredric Westin.

Hortense's son became Napoleon III, Emperor of the French. Eugène's son Maximilian de Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg married into the Russian Imperial family, was granted the style of Imperial Highness and founded the Russian line of the Beauharnais family, while Eugene's daughter Joséphine married King Oscar I of Sweden, the son of Napoleon's one-time fiancée, Désirée Clary. Through her, Joséphine is a direct ancestor of the present heads of the royal houses of Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden and of the grandducal house of Baden.[18]

A number of jewels worn by modern-day royals are often said to have been worn by Joséphine. Through the Leuchtenberg inheritance, the Norwegian royal family possesses an emerald and diamond parure said to have been Joséphine's.[19][20] The Swedish royal family owns several pieces of jewelry frequently linked to Joséphine, including the Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure,[21][22] a suite of amethyst jewels,[23] and the Cameo Parure, worn by Sweden's royal brides.[24] However, a number of these jewels were probably never a part of Joséphine's collection at all, but instead belonged to other members of her family.[25]

Another of Eugène's daughters, Amélie de Beauharnais von Leuchtenberg, married Emperor Pedro I of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, and became Empress of Brazil, and they had one surviving daughter, Princess Maria Amélia of Brazil, who was briefly engaged to Archduke Maximilian of Austria before her early death.

Time journalist Nathalie Alexandria Kotchoubey de Beauharnais, was a direct descendant of Joséphine through her son Eugène and the Russian line founded by Josephine's grandson Maximilian de Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg. She married André Laguerre, longtime managing editor of Sports Illustrated in 1955 and had two daughters, Michèle and Claudine.[26]

Joséphine de Beauharnais's extended family member Stéphanie de Beauharnais is an ancestor to Albert II, Prince of Monaco[27], through her daughter Princess Marie Amelie of Baden, and of the present heads of the princely house of Hohenzollern and royal houses of Romania, Yugoslavia and Italy, through her daughter Princess Josephine of Baden.[28]

Nature and appearance

Biographer Carolly Erickson wrote, “In choosing her lovers Rose [Josephine] followed her head first, then her heart”,[29] meaning that she was adept in terms of identifying the men who were most capable of fulfilling her financial and social needs. She was not unaware of Napoleon's potential. Joséphine was a renowned spendthrift and Barras may have encouraged the relationship with Général Bonaparte in order to get her off his hands. Josephine was naturally full of kindness, generosity and charm, and was praised as an engaging hostess.

Joséphine was described as being of average height, svelte, shapely, with silky, long, chestnut-brown hair, hazel eyes, and a rather sallow complexion. Her nose was small and straight, and her mouth was well-formed; however she kept it closed most of the time so as not to reveal her bad teeth.[30] She was praised for her elegance, style, and low, "silvery", beautifully modulated voice.[31]

Patroness of roses

In 1799 while Napoleon was in Egypt, Josephine purchased the Chateau de Malmaison.[32] She had it landscaped in an “English” style, hiring landscapers and horticulturalists from the United Kingdom. These included Thomas Blaikie, a Scottish horticultural expert, another Scottish gardener, Alexander Howatson, the botanist, Ventenat, and the horticulturist, Andre Dupont. The rose garden was begun soon after purchase; inspired by Dupont’s love of roses. Josephine took a personal interest in the gardens and the roses, and learned a great deal about botany and horticulture from her staff. Josephine wanted to collect all known roses so Napoleon ordered his warship commanders to search all seized vessels for plants to be forwarded to Malmaison. Pierre-Joseph Redouté was commissioned by her to paint the flowers from her gardens. Les Roses was published 1817–20 with 168 plates of roses; 75–80 of the roses grew at Malmaison. The English nurseryman Kennedy was a major supplier, despite England and France being at war, his shipments were allowed to cross blockades. Specifically, when Hume’s Blush Tea-Scented China was imported to England from China, the British and French Admiralties made arrangements in 1810 for specimens to cross naval blockades for Josephine’s garden.[33] Sir Joseph Banks, Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, also sent her roses. The general assumption is that she had about 250 roses in her garden when she died in 1814. Unfortunately the roses were not catalogued during her tenure. There may have been only 197 rose varieties in existence in 1814, according to calculations by Jules Gravereaux of Roseraie de l’Haye. There were 12 species, about 40 centifolias, mosses and damasks, 20 Bengals, and about 100 gallicas. The botanist Claude Antoine Thory, who wrote the descriptions for Redouté’s paintings in Les Roses, noted that Josephine’s Bengal rose R. indica had black spots on it.[34] She produced the first written history of the cultivation of roses, and is believed to have hosted the first rose exhibition, in 1810.[35]

Modern hybridization of roses through artificial, controlled pollination began with Josephine’s horticulturalist Andre Dupont.[32] Prior to this, most new rose cultivars were spontaneous mutations or accidental, bee-induced hybrids, and appeared rarely. With controlled pollination, the appearance of new cultivars grew exponentially. Of the roughly 200 types of roses known to Josephine, Dupont had created 25 while in her employ. Subsequent French hybridizers created over 1000 new rose cultivars in the 30 years following Josephine's death. In 1910, less than 100 years after her death, there were about 8000 rose types in Gravereaux's garden. Bechtel also feels that the popularity of roses as garden plants was boosted by Josephine’s patronage. She was a popular ruler and fashionable people copied her.

Brenner and Scanniello call her the "Godmother of modern rosomaniacs" and attribute her with our modern style of vernacular cultivar names as opposed to Latinized, pseudo-scientific cultivar names. For instance, R. alba incarnata became "Cuisse de Nymphe Emue" in her garden. After Josephine’s death in 1814 the house was vacant at times, the garden and house ransacked and vandalised, and the garden’s remains were destroyed in a battle in 1870. The rose 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' appeared in 1844, 30 years after her death, named in her honor by a Russian Grand Duke planting one of the first specimens in the Imperial Garden in St. Petersburg.[34]

Titles, styles, and arms

Titles and styles

  • 23 June 1763 – 13 December 1779: Mademoiselle Rose Tascher de La Pagerie.
  • 13 December 1779 – 23 July 1794: Madame The Viscountess of Beauharnais
  • 23 July 1794 – 9 March 1796: Madame The Dowager Viscountess of Beauharnais.
  • 9 March 1796 – 18 May 1804: Madame Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • 18 May 1804 – 26 May 1805: Her Imperial Majesty The Empress of the French
  • 26 May 1805 – 10 January 1810: Her Imperial and Royal Majesty The Empress of the French, Queen of Italy.
  • 10 January 1810 – 9 April 1810: Her Imperial Majesty Empress Joséphine.
  • 9 April 1810 – 29 May 1814: Her Imperial Majesty Empress Joséphine, Duchess of Navarre.


Coat of arms of Josephine de Beauharnais

Coat of arms of Josephine de Beauharnais


Although she is often referred to as "Joséphine de Beauharnais", it is not a name she ever used in her lifetime, as "Beauharnais" is the name of her first husband, which she ceased to use upon her marriage to Napoleon, taking the last name "Bonaparte"[36] while she did not use the name "Joséphine" before meeting Napoleon, who was the first to begin calling her such, perhaps from a middle name of "Josephe". In her life before Napoleon, the woman now known as Joséphine went by the name of Rose, or Marie-Rose, Tascher de la Pagerie, later de Beauharnais, and she sometimes reverted to using her maiden-name of Tascher de la Pagerie in later life. After her marriage to the then General Bonaparte, she adopted the name Joséphine Bonaparte and the name of "Rose" faded into her past. The misnomer "Joséphine de Beauharnais" first emerged during the restoration of the Bourbons, who were hesitant to refer to her by either Napoleon's surname or her Imperial title and settled instead on the surname of her late first husband.


Ancestors of Empress Joséphine
16. François de Tascher, seigneur de La Pagerie
8. Gaspard de Tascher, seigneur de La Pagerie
17. Marie Pétronille Sophie d'Arnoul
4. Gaspard Joseph Tascher de La Pagerie
18. Henri du Plessis, seigneur de Savonnières
9. Edmée Henriette Madeleine du Plessis de Savonnières
19. Agathe de Thienne
2. Joseph-Gaspard Tascher de La Pagerie
20. Jacques Bourreau, seigneur de La Guesserie
10. François Bourreau, seigneur de La Chevalerie
21. Anne Hubert
5. Françoise Bourreau de La Chevalerie
22. Jacques Jaham des Prés
11. Marie Thérèse Jaham des Prés
23. Adrienne Dyel de Graville
1. Joséphine de Beauharnais
24. Domique Florimund des Vergers de Sannois
12. Joseph des Vergers de Sannois
25. Anne-Catherine Taudier de Lafond, dame de L'Espérance
6. Joseph François des Vergers de Sannois
26. Guillaume de Maigne du Plat
13. Élisabeth de Maigne du Plat
27. Marie d'Orange
3. Rose Claire des Vergers de Sannois
28. George Brown
14. Anthony Brown
29. Gertrude Morley
7. Catherine Marie Brown
30. Dominique Florimund des Vergers de Sannois (= 24)
15. Catherine des Vergers de Sannois
31. Anne-Catherine Taudier de Lafond, dame de L'Espérance (= 25)

In popular culture


In 1859 Napoleon III commissioned a statue of Josephine for La Savane Park in downtown Fort-de-France, Martinique. In 1991 it was decapitated and shortly afterwards spattered with red paint. These acts were said to be for Josephine's alleged role in convincing Napoleon to reinstitute slavery in the French colonies.[37] (Although in fact Martinique, under first Royalist, then English, rule never accepted the emancipation degree issued by the Revolutionary government.)[38] The head has never been found.

Fiction books

  • Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur (1897). Uncle Bernac.
  • Fields, Bertram (2015). Destiny: A Novel Of Napoleon & Josephine.
  • Gulland, Sandra (1995). The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B.
  • ——— (1998). Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe.
  • ——— (2000). The Last Great Dance on Earth.
  • Selinko, Annemarie (1958) Desirée
  • Webb, Heather (2013). Becoming Josephine.
  • Winterson, Jeanette (1987). The Passion.
  • Kenyon, F. W. (1952) The Emperor's Lady
  • Mossiker, Frances (1971) More than a queen; The story of Josephine Bonaparte.




  • Galliano said that his inspiration was dressing the pregnant rock star Madonna — and then thinking "Empress Josephine."[39]

See also


  1. ^ http://www.lonelyplanet.com/martinique/trois-ilets/sights/other/musee-de-la-pagerie
  2. ^ Epton, Nina (1975). Josephine, the Empress and Her Children. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., pp. 54, 66–67.
  3. ^ Hippolyte Charles Archived August 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Theo Aronson, Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story.
  5. ^ "Madame Pauline Fourès-Napoleon's Cleopatra".
  6. ^ "Napoleon Bonaparte & Josephine Beauharnais".
  7. ^ Epton, p. 94.
  8. ^ Epton, pp. 94–95.
  9. ^ Epton, p. 95.
  10. ^ Andrea Stuart: Josephine: The Rose of Martinique.
  11. ^ E. Bruce, Napoleon and Josphine, London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1995, pg.445
  12. ^ "Napoleon: Napoleon and Josephine". PBS. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  13. ^ Esdaile, Charles (2009-10-27). Napoleon's Wars: An International History. Penguin. ISBN 9781101464373.
  14. ^ Arnold, James R. (1995). Napoleon Conquers Austria: The 1809 Campaign for Vienna. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 194. ISBN 9780275946944.
  15. ^ "Empress Josephine's short biography in Napoleon & Empire website, displaying photographs of the castle of Malmaison and the grave of Josephine". Napoleon-empire.com. 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
  16. ^ Markham, Felix, Napoleon, p. 245.
  17. ^ https://www.gutenberg.org/files/40804/40804-h/40804-h.htm#Page_220
  18. ^ "Joséphine's Jewels: Myths and Legends | The Court Jeweller". www.thecourtjeweller.com. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  19. ^ Kay, Ella. "Tiara Timeline: The Norwegian Emerald Parure Tiara". The Court Jeweller. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  20. ^ "Empress Joséphine's Emerald Tiara". Order of Splendor.
  21. ^ Kay, Ella. "Tiara Timeline: The Leuchtenberg Sapphire Tiara". The Court Jeweller. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  22. ^ "The Leuchtenberg Sapphire Parure". Order of Splendor.
  23. ^ "Queen Josephine's Amethyst Tiara". Order of Splendor.
  24. ^ "The Cameo Tiara". Order of Splendor.
  25. ^ Kay, Ella. "Joséphine's Jewels: Myths and Legends". The Court Jeweller. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  26. ^ "Person Page 6746". thePeerage.com. 2004-09-22. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  27. ^ "Gift by HRH the Prince of Monaco to the Fondation Napoléon - napoleon.org". Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  28. ^ (in French) Études biographiques - Les descendants de la duchesse de Leuchtenberg et sa parenté, www.napoleon.org. Retrieved 2017-09-13.
  29. ^ Erickson, Carolly (2000). Josephine: A Life of the Empress. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 82. ISBN 0-312-26346-5.
  30. ^ Epton, Nina (1975). Josephine, The Empress and Her Children. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. p. 3.
  31. ^ Mossiker, Frances, Napoleon and Josephine, p. 48.
  32. ^ a b Bechtel, Edwin de Turk. 1949, reprinted 2010. "Our Rose Varieties and their Malmaison Heritage". The OGR and Shrub Journal, The American Rose Society. 7(3)
  33. ^ Thomas, Graham Stuart (2004). The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book. London, England: Frances Lincoln Limited. ISBN 0-7112-2397-1.
  34. ^ a b Brenner, Douglas, and Scanniello, Stephen (2009). A Rose by Any Name. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books.
  35. ^ Bowermaster, Russ (1993). "Judging: From Whence to Hence". The American Rose Annual: 72–73.
  36. ^ Branda, Pierre (2016). Josephine: Le Paradoxe du Cygne. Paris: Perrin. p. 9.
  37. ^ Uncommon Attraction: Beheaded Statue of Empress Josephine
  38. ^ Statue of Empress Josephine
  39. ^ Menkes, Suzy (1996-07-08). "Galliano's Empire Line Shines for Givenchy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-09-08.
  • Aronson, Theo (1990). Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story. St Martins Pr. ISBN 0-312-05135-2.
  • Brent, Harrison. (1946). Pauline Bonaparte, A Woman of Affairs. NY and Toronto Rinehart.
  • Bruce, Evangeline. (1995). Napoleon and Josephine: An Improbable Marriage. NY: Scribner. ISBN 0-02-517810-5
  • Castelot, André (2009). Josephine. Ishi Press. ISBN 4-87187-853-8.
  • Chevallier, Bernard; Pincemaille, Christophe. Douce et incomparable Joséphine. éd. Payot & Rivages, coll. «Petite bibliothèque Payot», Paris, 2001. ISBN 2-228-90029-X
  • Chevallier, Bernard; Pincemaille, Christophe. L'impératrice Joséphine. Presses de la Renaissance, Paris, 1988., 466 p.,ISBN 978-2-85616-485-3
  • Delorme, Eleanor P. (2002). Josephine: Napoleon's Incomparable Empress. Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-0-8109-1229-8
  • Epton, Nina. (1975). Josephine: the Empress and Her Children. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-393-07500-7
  • Erickson, Carolly (1998). Josephine; A Life of the Empress. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 1-86105-637-0.
  • Fauveau, Jean-Claude. Joséphine l'impératrice créole. L'esclavage aux Antilles et la traite pendant la Révolution française. Éditions L'Harmattan 2010. 390 p. ISBN 978-2-296-11293-3.
  • Knapton, Ernest John. (1963). Empress Josephine Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-671-51346-7
  • de Montjouven, Philippe. Joséphine: Une impératrice de légendes. Timée-éditions; 2010, 141 p. ISBN 978-2-35401-233-5
  • Mossiker, Frances (1964). Napoleon and Josephine; the Biography of a Marriage. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-0-00-000000-2.
  • Schiffer, Liesel. Femmes remarquables au XIX siècle. Vuibert éd. Vuibert, Paris, 2008, 305 p. ISBN 978-2711744428
  • Sergeant, Philip (1909). The Empress Josephine, Napoleon's Enchantress. NY: Hutchinson's Library of Standard Lives.
  • Stuart, Andrea. (2005). The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon's Josephine. Grove Press. ISBN 978-0-8021-4202-3
  • Wagener, Françoise, L'Impératrice Joséphine (1763–1814). Flammarion; Paris, 1999, 504 p.

External links

Empress Joséphine
Tascher de La Pagerie
Born: 23 June 1763 Died: 29 May 1814
Royal titles
Preceded by
Marie Antoinette
as Queen consort of the French
Empress consort of the French
18 May 1804 – 10 January 1810
Title next held by
Marie Louise of Austria
Preceded by
Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily
Queen consort of Italy
26 May 1805 – 10 January 1810
French nobility
New title Duchess of Navarre
9 April 1810 – 29 May 1814
Succeeded by
Auguste de Beauharnais
Adélaïde de La Rochefoucauld

Adélaïde de La Rochefoucauld née de Pyvart de Chastullé (1769–1814), was a French courtier. She served as the principal lady in waiting, or dame d'honneur (Mistress of the Robes), to empress Joséphine de Beauharnais in 1804–09.

Allaman Castle

Allaman Castle (French: Château d'Allaman) has its origins in the 11/12th Century but the main components were built by Louis, Duke of Savoy - Count de Vaud, in 1253. It is listed in the Grade 1 Swiss Inventory of Cultural Property of National and Regional Significance.The wealthy Genevan philanthropist Count Jean-Jacques de Sellon, (son of Hortense Gallatin, the sister of Albert Gallatin) who owned the property until 1839, gave accommodation at the castle to, amongst many others, such political refugees as Napoleon's brother Joseph Bonaparte, Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, the Duke of Bassano, the Count Camille Cavour, Voltaire as well as to Franz Liszt and George Sand. In 1820 de Sellon founded the Society of Peace, forerunner of the League of Nations and the United Nations Organization (UNO) and in 1830 the First International Peace Summit was held in Château d'Allaman. Since then, the Castle has also been referred to "The Castle of Peace".

De Sellon was also instrumental in the abolition of the death penalty in Switzerland.

The Castle of Allaman is one of the largest private properties of Switzerland. The estate covers over 330,000 square metres (33 hectares; 82 acres) and offers some 6,200 m2 (67,000 sq ft) of living space. The estate is surrounded by private forests, parks, gardens and Grand Cru vine yards. Recently completely restored and transformed, the Castle is owned by a Swiss family.


A briolette is an elongated pear-shaped gemstone cut with facets, and it is often drilled to hang as a bead. It was popular during the Victorian times.

The Smithsonian has a 275-carat (55.0 g) diamond briolette necklace presented by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1811 to his Empress consort Marie Louise.

Château de Malmaison

Château de Malmaison (French pronunciation: ​[ʃɑ.to də‿mal.mɛzɔ̃]) is a French château near the western bank of the Seine about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) west of the centre of Paris in Rueil-Malmaison.

Formerly the residence of Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, along with the Tuileries it was the headquarters of the French government from 1800 to 1802, and Napoleon's last residence in France at the end of the Hundred Days in 1815. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the estate became a summer residence of Edward Tuck, the Vice Consul of the American Legation in Paris.

Dihl and Guérhard porcelain

Dihl and Guérhard porcelain (various variant names) was made by the Duc d'Angoulême's porcelain factory, a hard-paste porcelain factory in Paris, active from February 25, 1781 until 1828. It was founded by Christophe Dihl (1752-1830) and Antoine Guérhard (d.1793), together with Louise-Françoise-Madeleine Croizé (1751-1831), then married to Guérhard, but married to Dihl from 1797. Dihl was a chemist, and the factory experimented with new colours and finishes.

From an early stage, it operated under the protection, though not the ownership, of the child Louis Antoine, Duke of Angoulême, (1775-1844), a nephew of the reigning Louis XVI of France. This permitted it to operate despite the monopoly on coloured and gilded porcelain the king had given his own Sèvres porcelain. The Duke's name was dropped during the French Revolution.

The wares were of very high quality, in styles similar to Sèvres, following the movement of fashion from Neoclassicism to the Empire style. The Empress Joséphine commissioned a service in 1811, with Dutch Golden Age paintings of genre subjects, in gilded Neoclassical settings, a somewhat surprising combination already used by Sèvres before the Revolution. A particular speciality was vases which imitated polished stone or tortoiseshell in porcelain, some in the slim fuseau shape and mounted with ormolu.An abbreviated version of the formal name "Manufacture de Monsieur Le Duc d’Angoulême" was sometimes stamped underneath pieces, and a mark of G and A intertwined was used. The factory's original location was rue de Bondy, Paris, but it moved to rue du Temple in 1789.

Dragons de la Garde Impériale

The Dragons de la Garde impériale (Dragoons of the Imperial Guard) was a heavy cavalry unit formed by Napoleon I through the decree of April 15, 1806. The "dragoon" regiments of the line had distinguished themselves in the German Campaign of 1805, and therefore Napoleon decided to reorganize the cavalry of the Guard and create within it a regiment of dragoon guards. This regiment was colloquially known as the Dragons de l'Impératrice (Empress' Dragoons), in honor of Empress Joséphine. Following the Bourbon Restoration, they were renamed Corps royal des Dragons de France (Dragoons of France Royal Corps) but were disbanded shortly afterwards. The Empress' Dragoons were reformed during the Second Empire (1852-1870).

Duke of Navarre

Duke of Navarre (French: duc de Navarre) was a noble title of the First French Empire.

It was created by letters patent of 9 April 1810 for Empress Joséphine, following her divorce from Napoleon earlier that year. She thus became known as the Duchess of Navarre. The title refers to her Château de Navarre in Normandy and not the former Kingdom of Navarre.

She died in 1814 and was succeeded by her grandsons, first Auguste (who died in 1835) and then Maximilian. Upon Maximilian's death in 1852, during the Second French Empire, his eldest son Nicholas was prevented from succeeding. Through his mother, Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia, he was a member of a foreign royal family and thus unable to take the required oath to establish succession to the majorat. The title therefore lapsed.

Empire silhouette

Empire silhouette, Empire line, Empire waist or just Empire is a style in clothing in which the dress has a fitted bodice ending just below the bust, giving a high-waisted appearance, and a gathered skirt which is long and loosely fitting but skims the body rather than being supported by voluminous petticoats. The outline is especially flattering to pear shapes wishing to disguise the stomach area or emphasize the bust. The shape of the dress also helps to lengthen the body's appearance.

While the style goes back to the late 18th century, the term "Empire silhouette" arose over a century later in early 20th-century Britain; here the word empire refers to the period of the First French Empire; Napoleon's first Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais was influential in popularizing the style around Europe. The word "empire" is pronounced with a special quasi-French pronunciation in the fashion world.

Ernestine Panckoucke

Ernestine Panckoucke, née Désormeaux aka Anne-Ernestine Panckoucke (1784-1860), was a talented French botanical illustrator and flower painter, and considered one of Redouté's most gifted students.

She described herself as a 'translator of Goethe's poems, pupil of Redouté and designer of Chaumeton's "Flore Médicale"', published by her husband Charles Louis Fleury Panckoucke (1780-1844). She illustrated this work with Pierre Jean François Turpin (1775-1840). She is thought to have met Redouté at either the Château de Malmaison whilst a student under Prud'hon, or at Jean-Baptiste Isabey's studio while sitting for a portrait. Afterwards she regularly attended Redoute's classes at the Jardin des Plantes. Redouté had been commissioned by Empress Joséphine to depict the roses and lilies at Malmaison.

One of her works was sold at the Duc de Berry's 1834 sale.

Ferdinand Maximilien Mériadec de Rohan

Ferdinand Maximilien Mériadec de Rohan (1738–1813) was an Archbishop of Bordeaux starting in 1769, and Prince-Archbishop of Cambrai from 1781. He was the son of Hercule Meriadec de Rohan, prince de Guéméné and Louise-Gabrielle Julie de Rohan; brother of cardinal de Rohan, and Jules, prince de Guéméné.

Mériadec was a chaplain of the Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais. He served as prior and doctor of the Sorbonne and provost of the church of Strasbourg.

He was nominated Archbishop of Bordeaux by King Louis XV on 26 December 1769, and his bulls were granted by Pope Clement XIV in the Consistory of 29 January 1770. He was consecrated a bishop in the church of the Sorbonne on 8 April 1770 by his brother Louis, the coadjutor Archbishop of Strasbourg, assisted by the Bishops of Poitiers and Vabres. He was installed in Bordeaux by procurator. He made his solemn entry into Bordeaux on 5 May 1771. He was nominated Archbishop of Cambrai by King Louis XVI on 28 January 1781, and received his bulls from Pope Pius VI dated 2 April 1781. He died in Paris in 1813.

His mistress was Charlotte Stuart, Duchess of Albany, illegitimate daughter of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, with whom he had three children, including Charles Edward Stuart, Count Roehenstart. Lacking legitimacy or permission, Charlotte was unable to marry. Thus, she otherwise sought a protector and provider. Probably unbeknownst to her father, Prince Charles Edward Stuart ("Bonnie Prince Charlie"), she became the mistress of Mériadec – related by blood to the house of Stuart as well as Bourbon and Lorraine – who was also unable to marry legitimately, having entered the Church as a younger son of a noble house. By him, she had three children: two daughters, Marie Victoire and Charlotte, and finally a son Charles Edward. Her children were kept secret, and remained largely unknown until the 20th century. When Charlotte eventually left France for Florence shortly after her son's birth, she entrusted the children into the care of her mother, Clementina Walkinshaw, and it appears that few, and certainly not her father, knew of their existence.

His sister-in-law, Marie Louise de La Tour d'Auvergne, was a first cousin of Prince Charles Edward Stuart and became his mistress. They had a son together, Charles Godefroi Sophie Jules Marie de Rohan, but Charles left her for Clementina Walkinshaw, with whom he had Charlotte.

Jeanne Charlotte du Luçay

Jeanne Charlotte du Luçay née Papillon d'Auteroche (1769-1842), was a French court official, Dame du Palais to Empress Joséphine and Dame d'atour to Empress Marie Louise of France.

Louis-André-Gabriel Bouchet


Louis-André-Gabriel Bouchet (1759 – 7 July 1842) was a French historical painter and a pupil of Jacques-Louis David. He painted subjects from sacred and profane history, poetry, and portraits. He won the Prix de Rome in 1797, and continued to exhibit until 1819. Charles Gabet does not mention the date of his birth or death.

1807 he manufactured the portrait on behalf emperors Napoléon as counterpart to the work of Empress Joséphine who Robert Lefèvre 1805 had implemented. Napoléon gave these two portraits of the city Aachen to 1807. After their deportation of Aachen into the city lock of Berlin on order Friedrich Wilhelm IV copies were made before he sent the paintings back 1840 to Aachen. Probably Professor Carl Schmid painted the reproductions. The original works decorate today the entrance hall of Aachen city hall.

Louis Bonaparte

Louis Napoléon Bonaparte (born Luigi Buonaparte; 2 September 1778 – 25 July 1846) was a younger brother of Napoleon I, Emperor of the French. He was a monarch in his own right from 1806 to 1810, ruling over the Kingdom of Holland (a French client state roughly corresponding to the current Netherlands). In that capacity he was known as Louis I (Dutch: Lodewijk I; Dutch pronunciation: [ˈloːdəʋɛik]).

Louis was the fifth surviving child and fourth surviving son of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino, out of eight children who lived past infancy. He and his siblings were all born on Corsica, which had been conquered by France less than a decade before his birth. Louis followed his older brothers into the French Army, where he benefited from Napoleon's patronage. In 1802, he married his step-niece Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter of Empress Joséphine (Napoleon's wife).

In 1806, Napoleon established the Kingdom of Holland in place of the Batavian Republic, appointing Louis as the new king. Napoleon had intended for Holland to be little more than a puppet state, but Louis was determined to be as independent as possible, and in fact became quite popular amongst his new people. Growing tired of his brother's wilfulness, Napoleon annexed Holland into the French Empire in 1810. Louis fled into exile in Austria, where he spent the rest of his life. His son Louis-Napoléon established the Second French Empire, taking the throne as Napoleon III.

Loves of Three Queens

Loves of Three Queens (Italian: L'amante di Paride), also known as The Face That Launched a Thousand Ships, is a 1954 Italian anthology film. It was directed by Marc Allégret and Edgar G. Ulmer and stars Hedy Lamarr.

Nicolas Huet the Younger

Nicolas Huet the Younger (1770 Louvre – 26 December 1830 Paris), aka Nicolas Huet II or as Nicolas Huet le Jeune, was a French natural history illustrator, active 1788–1827.

Nicolas Huet was the eldest son and pupil of Jean-Baptiste Huet, who was in turn the son of Nicolas Huet the Elder, all skilled painters and engravers of animal life, together with Nicolas Huet the Younger's siblings, François Huet (1772–1813) and Jean-Baptiste Huet II (born 1772). In 1792 he and his two brothers enlisted with the volunteers of Seine-et-Oise; he became a lieutenant and took part in the Battle of Jemappes. He also took part in Napoleon’s scientific and artistic exploration of Egypt between 1798 and 1801, subsequently illustrating the government's report. Huet was a skilled watercolourist and engraver, who acquired a reputation as natural history draughtsman. In October 1804, after the death of Oudinot, he was designated painter to the Muséum d’Histore Naturelle and to the ménagerie of the Empress Joséphine - a collection of animals, birds and plants, many depicted by Huet. He also illustrated works by the naturalists Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire and Georges Cuvier.Huet produced a series of 246 animal drawings on vellum for the library of the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle, and these were published in 1808 as 'Collection de mammifères du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle'. From 1823 until his death Huet was 'Professeur d’iconographie des animaux', and continued exhibiting drawings and watercolours of animals at various salons until shortly before his death. Huet was also commissioned to create elaborate drawings of animals, often on vellum, for notables such as Frederick Augustus II of Saxony, and the military officer André Masséna, Prince d’Essling and Duc de Rivoli.Lambert Frères published a number of his images, and these were engraved by his brother Jean Baptiste, who also engraved Nicolas’ depictions of mammals. He also illustrated 'l’Histoire naturelle des mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles', and 'Nouveau recueil de planches coloriées d’oiseaux'.

On the death of Gerard van Spaendonck in 1822, Nicolas and Pierre-Joseph Redouté took charge of the iconography course at the Muséum d’Histore Naturelle.

Nicolas died on 26 December 1830 leaving no children.

Pavillon du Butard

The Pavilion du Butard is a hunting lodge in the Forêt de Fausses-Reposes in the territory of La Celle-Saint-Cloud in Yvelines, France. Part of the gardens of Versailles, it was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel for Louis XV and built between 1750 and 1754. It was made state property on 27 June 1794 by François-Nicolas Périgon, notary at Paris, during the French Revolution. On 23 April 1802 it became the property of empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, who wished to merge it with her Malmaison estate, but it returned to being state property on her divorce from Napoleon in 1809. It was later also enjoyed by Charles X of France and emperor Napoleon III of France. It was occupied by the Prussians during the Franco-Prussian War. Still state property, it was made a monument historique on 29 August 1927.

Raffles (1930 film)

Raffles is a 1930 American pre-Code comedy-mystery film produced by Samuel Goldwyn. It stars Ronald Colman as the title character, a proper English gentleman who moonlights as a notorious jewel thief, and Kay Francis as his love interest. It is based on the play Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman (1906) by E. W. Hornung and Eugene Wiley Presbrey, which was in turn adapted from the 1899 short story collection of the same name by Hornung.

Oscar Lagerstrom was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording.The story had been filmed previously as Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman (1917) with John Barrymore as Raffles, and again as Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman (1925) by Universal Studios. A 1939 film version, also produced by Goldwyn, stars David Niven in the title role.

Simon Jacques Rochard

Simon Jacques Rochard (28 December 1788 - 10 June 1872) was a painter of portrait miniatures in France, England and Brussels in the first half of the nineteenth century.He was born in Paris to René Rochard and Marie Madeleine Talon. He showed early talent and, after his father died, helped support his mother and eleven siblings by drawing portraits. Rochard studied under Étienne Aubry and at the École des Beaux-Arts. He also studied miniature-painting from Emilie Bounieu (daughter of Michel Honoré Bounieu). At only twenty he painted a portrait of the Empress Joséphine for Napoleon and later other portraits of the imperial family.After Napoleon's return from Elba in 1815, he was drafted into the army but deserted and went to Brussels. There he received commissions to paint miniatures including at least one of the Duke of Wellington leader of the forces opposing Napoleon. Shortly after he moved to London and became very popular, painting numerous miniatures of members of the upper class such as Princess Charlotte. He exhibited mostly at the Royal Academy of Arts from 1816 to 1845.In 1846 he moved to Brussels where he exhibited at the Salon there until 1869. He also exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1852 and the International Exposition of 1867 in Paris. He died in 1872.

Émilie de Beauharnais

Émilie de Beauharnais, countess de Lavalette (1781-1855), was a French court official, Dame d'atour to Empress Joséphine of France.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.