The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court

Front Cover
Cengage Gale, 2012 - Fiction - 465 pages
3 Reviews
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, Josephine, 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.

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The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court

User Review  - Barbara Hoffert - Book Verdict

With last year's Madame Tussaud, the author of saga favorites like The Heretic Queen left behind Egypt for France. This book is not a sequel to Moran's portrait of the celebrated wax sculptor but a re ... Read full review

Review: The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court

User Review  - Christy English - Goodreads

I loved this book! It does not make Napoleon look good, but I am fascinated by Pauline and by Mare Louise. Lovely portraits of two very different women. Michelle Moran rocks! Read full review

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About the author (2012)

MICHELLE MORAN's experiences at archaeological sites around the world motivated her to write historical fiction and continue to provide inspiration for her novels. She is the author of the national bestseller "Nefertiti," "The Heretic Queen," "Cleopatra's Daughter," and "Madame Tussaud." Visit her online at michellemoran.com.

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