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Extended Audio Sample Josephine: A Life of the Empress Audiobook, by Carolly Erickson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (295 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carolly Erickson Narrator: Davina Porter Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 1999 ISBN: 9781456125172
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Popular biographer Carolly Erickson creates intimate and richly detailed portraits of her historical subjects. In this book she offers a provocative new perspective on Josephine and her fabled marriage to Napoleon. Josephine’s story is as turbulent as the revolutionary era in which she lived—and even more tantalizing than her reputation. Brought up on the lush island of Martinique, Josephine arrived in Paris with a charming Creole lilt, an earthy West Indian manner, and a sweet, unaffected nature. A disastrous first marriage, financial hardship, and the violent realities of the French Revolution—including a stay in the harshest prison in Paris—forged her into a survivor. But would she survive her marriage to the insecure military leader from Corsica who would become Emperor of France? Carolly Erickson skillfully draws on historical evidence to reconstruct the rags to riches story of an extraordinary historical figure. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Carolly Erikson tells [this story] with all the flair it deservesExquisite writing.” 

    Houston Chronicle

  • “Erickson has deft hand with psychological portraiture and historical detail. She strips away the romantic idealism with which the empress's life is often distorted.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Dionne gives voice to a fascinating, compelling woman of history, whose ambition and strong will stirred fear and hatred in the powerful while inspiring admiration in the common folk.” 

    AudioFile

  • “An intimate, richly detailed, and candid portrait.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 1/14/2014

    " Just got to say that I couldn't have been married to Napoleon Bonaparte "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monna | 1/11/2014

    " A very enjoyable bio of a complex and remarkable woman in her own right. I learned a lot about 18th/19th century life in France. Listened to the audiobook. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melodi | 12/31/2013

    " I don't think her life was the most interesting, but I enjoyed reading about the time period and learn more about the history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurel | 12/20/2013

    " I read this after returning from Paris in September. I wanted to learn more about Napolean's wife -- knowing what a "colorful" character he was. I enjoyed the way the author told her story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angie Seffker Cope | 12/18/2013

    " Great. Love the historical context, well written, organized. Just great. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jostalady | 12/3/2013

    " Amusing, light read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 12/2/2013

    " Just to follow up on the historical fiction I read a biography on Josephine also...another good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ericubear72 | 11/2/2013

    " Really enjoyed this piece. Erickson has the gift of writing about the subject in such a way that it not only tells the story accurately but very dramatically. Looking forward to more form her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 C.M. Mayo | 10/28/2013

    " Masterfully researched; vivid as a novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 10/25/2013

    " So I haven't really finished this...not sure if I will. Not my kind of story...very well written though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marco | 10/6/2013

    " I cried... not kidding. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/3/2013

    " Very good biography; not too heavy, but enough detail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eddy Allen | 9/29/2013

    " Alluring, wealthy, and married to the conqueror of Europe, Josephine appeared in 1804 as the most favored woman in France; but her actual life was far darker. Erickson brings the complex, charming, ever resilient Josephine to life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 9/9/2013

    " Interesting, well written. I personally had trouble empathizing with Josephine but that wasn't because the book was well written. A good overview of her life and a good read for anyone curious about Josephine Bonaparte. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsay | 8/31/2013

    " I retain so much more of history lessons when the writer makes an effort to turn it into a narrative. Erickson did a great job with this, and exposes Josephine's low birth and Napoleon's obsession with dynasty. Entertaining and informative. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 7/3/2013

    " Josephine was not the person I expected. She was a quiet, modest person placed in extraordinary circumstances, and she evolved to be someone else. She was a survivor--but she gave up a lot of herself in the process. An interesting and thought provoking read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nadine | 11/30/2012

    " I think the author assumes too much. Her historical research here is questionable, but the book was readable nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron | 8/21/2012

    " Erickson give a lot of information but uses story form which is fun to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 1/24/2012

    " Pretty interesting. Well put together for someone with no previous knowledge of her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kecia | 8/27/2011

    " Fascinating story! If someone was to write Rose's life as fiction, no one would find it the least bit believable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russamun82 | 8/16/2011

    " Almost a fantastic Fiction is the Life of Josephine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sabrina | 7/11/2011

    " I was pleasantly surprised by this biography, which shows the dark world in which Empress Josephine found herself having to navigate, and illuminates the 17th/18th century European use of arranged marriage to promote family wealth and social position. Well written and engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 3/4/2011

    " Just got to say that I couldn't have been married to Napoleon Bonaparte "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 C.M. | 3/1/2011

    " Masterfully researched; vivid as a novel.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurel | 12/28/2010

    " I read this after returning from Paris in September. I wanted to learn more about Napolean's wife -- knowing what a "colorful" character he was. I enjoyed the way the author told her story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 7/12/2009

    " Very good biography; not too heavy, but enough detail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 3/23/2009

    " Just to follow up on the historical fiction I read a biography on Josephine also...another good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ericubear72 | 11/4/2008

    " Really enjoyed this piece. Erickson has the gift of writing about the subject in such a way that it not only tells the story accurately but very dramatically. Looking forward to more form her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Kate | 7/8/2008

    " I'm reading this again--I read it in high school. An interesting biography of the much-maligned Empress Josephine, Napoleon's first wife. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 6/26/2008

    " Pretty interesting. Well put together for someone with no previous knowledge of her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ron | 4/18/2008

    " Erickson give a lot of information but uses story form which is fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melodi | 3/29/2008

    " I don't think her life was the most interesting, but I enjoyed reading about the time period and learn more about the history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 3/12/2008

    " So I haven't really finished this...not sure if I will. Not my kind of story...very well written though. "

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About the Author
Author Carolly Erickson

Carolly Erickson is the bestselling author of many distinguished works of nonfiction and a series of historical entertainments, blending fact and invention. Her historical biographies include The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette, The First Elizabeth, Her Little Majesty, and Alexandra. She lives in Hawaii.

About the Narrator

Davina Porter has been enthralling listeners for over twenty-five years with her ability to mine the psychological depths of the characters she reads and bring them convincingly to life. In 2006, she won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Female Narration and in 2004 for Best Inspirational Literature Narration.She has been honored as an AudioFile Golden Voice and has won nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she has appeared on stage at the Vineyard Playhouse and The Square One Theater, among others.