Dimensions: 320 pages, 3.75 × 2.56 × 0.41 in
Published: August 14, 2012
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307953033
ISBN - 13: 9780307953032
About the Book
1809. The French Revolution is over, but the bloodshed in Paris may continue under the rule of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. Based entirely on primary resources, this recreation details Napoleon Bonaparte's wildly promiscuous courtNand the women who tried to tame it.
Read from the Book
Chapter 1 Maria Lucia, Archduchess of Austria Schonbrunn Palace, Vienna November 1809 I study Maria Ludovika''s face in the fresh light of our studio, trying to determine whether I should paint her with or without the golden diadem in her hair. A few steps away, almost close enough to touch, she is holding up a paintbrush and studying me. The courtiers in my father''s palace call us the Two Marias, since we share nearly everything together: our shoes, our hobbies, even our names. We are second cousins, but whereas I am tall and buxom, with pale gold hair and wide hips, Maria Ludovika is small and thin. Her dark hair falls in waves around her shoulders, and she has not inherited the Hapsburg lip as I have--full and slightly protruding. Anyone looking at the two of us would think that I am older, because of my significant height. But I am eighteen to her twenty-two, and while she is the empress of Austria now, I am simply an archduchess. When she came from Italy, I imagined it would be strange to have a stepmother only four years older than me. She is my father''s third wife, my mother having died two years ago. But since her arrival in Vienna we have been like sisters, laughing over foolish palace intrigue, arranging trips to the Christmas markets in the city, and painting portraits in our cozy artist''s workshop overlooking the winter gardens of Schonbrunn Palace. I have never had another woman my age for entertainment, since I am the eldest. My sixteen-year-old brother, Ferd
From the Publisher
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
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.
About the Author
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.
"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 “Co