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Download The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleon's Court Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Second Empress: A Novel of Napoleons Court Audiobook, by Michelle Moran Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,838 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michelle Moran Narrator: Adam Alexi-Malle, Emma Bering, Tanya Franks Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2012 ISBN: 9780449010587
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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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Moran has once again proven her skills as a mesmerizing storyteller with The Second Empress. She gathers her readers into the heart of the story and takes them on an adventure into a world where most would never dare venture. Moran's characters are engaging and her use of historical facts, bits and pieces of correspondence and ephemera tie this story together to create a fascinating tale that won't soon be forgotten. Times Record News
  • Stunning in form, theme, and plot. . . Don’t hesitate to purchase this beautifully written gem, which is certain to shoot to the top of the charts, if not start a craze for everything Moran. Library Journal
  • Colorful… [a] nicely crafted work of historical fiction. Romantic Times
  • Red Hot Book of the Week, SheKnows.com: “Michelle Moran is beloved by readers of historical fiction for her lively and well-researched novels. . . Marie-Louise may be the character that readers will love, but it is Pauline they will love to hate. . . Moran describes the end of Napoleon's empire in vivid, realistic terms. She wastes no time attempting to make the reader sympathetic for the megalomaniac Napoleon, instead providing compelling -- if not always entirely likable -- characters who must make difficult choices: What is the best way to be loyal to one's family? When does self-respect and self-worth require giving up the person you love? SheKnows.com
  • Compelling fiction. . . Ostensibly the portrait of Marie-Louise of Austria, who became Napoleon’s second wife, the novel’s title could as easily apply to the emperor’s sister, Pauline. . . Another enjoyable historical from Moran. Publishers Weekly
  • This book covers the last six years of Napoleon’s reign… If you like French history you will enjoy this novel. British Weekly
  • “The Second Empress is a masterful work of fiction portraying the little known history of Napoleon’s desperate attempt to acquire an heir… The Second Empress is another wonderful read by a fantastic author. RomanceJunkies.com

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancye | 2/20/2014

    " I love historical fiction. And since picking up Nefertiti by Michelle Moran I have not been disappointed. I have read everything she has written and loved all of it. She has covered Egypt, Rome and the last two books were based in France. I am always amazed at what I learn reading her books. I highly recommend picking up all of them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Ayres | 1/29/2014

    " Another fantastic book by MM. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 1/18/2014

    " Not a blockbuster, but an enjoyable read. I loved "Madame Tussaud" also written by Moran but this one fell a bit short for me. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Meredith | 12/8/2013

    " Disappointing. If you are interested in Napoleon and this time period, read the Josephine Trilogy by Sandra Gulland. Excellent books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsey | 9/29/2013

    " This book was great. I am a huge fan of the way Michelle Moran writes and this book did not disappoint. It was a wonderful glimpse into the last years of Napoleon's court. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marypatc | 9/19/2013

    " this was just alright for me. I didn't really care that much about what happened to the characters. I did enjoy the historical aspects of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin | 8/1/2013

    " A bit of a disappointment after loving so many of her other books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hayley Poynton | 7/15/2013

    " Great example of Michelle Moran style of writing. All in all, well researched and very readable historical fiction. Thoroughly enjoyed it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Doleanu | 6/28/2013

    " As always never left disappointed with Michelle Moran. Awesome book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alice Jacobson | 6/21/2013

    " Very interesting I knew very little about Napolean's second empress. Well written draws you right in. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maegan | 4/12/2013

    " Interesting story, however, I found the writing style to be very boring and elementary compared to Moran's other novels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 4/4/2013

    " Enjoyable read but not really as good as Philippa Gregory. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 3/23/2013

    " I liked it better than the Madame Tussaud book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Snagl | 1/24/2013

    " The 6/12/12 review by Isis pretty much says it all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 1/19/2013

    " An easy and lively read. Never boring and only wishing the characters had even more historical details. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lara | 11/7/2012

    " Per usual, I always enjoy Ms. Moran's books. I really like how she doesn't change the historical events and people very much and how the women in her books are always strong women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 11/1/2012

    " Enjoyed listening to this one with different readers for each different character point of view. Did not know much about this time period in France and will definitely look for more books on this period. It made me want to find out what happened after the end of the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharlene | 10/28/2012

    " I found Michelle Moran's novel The Second Empress to be a thoroughly enjoyable read. I enjoyed learning about Napolean's second wife very much. I had not known very much about her but am now intrigued to find out more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 9/12/2012

    " Read it in under 24 hours, I absolutely loved it and couldn't put it down. Would have had it done this morning if I didn't have to go to work! "

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About the Author
Author Michelle Moran

Michelle Moran was born in southern California. After attending Pomona College, she earned a master’s degree from the Claremont Graduate University. She is the international bestselling author of Nefertiti, The Heretic Queen, Cleopatra’s Daughter, Madame Tussaud, and The Second Empress. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages.

About the Narrator

Emma Bering is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator whose readings include The Second Empress by Michelle Moran, Bride of New France by Suzanne Desrochers, and A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper, among many others.