Last Great Dance on Earth by Sandra GullandLast Great Dance on Earth by Sandra Gulland

Last Great Dance on Earth

bySandra Gulland

Paperback | July 19, 2001

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The final installment in the acclaimed trilogy lays bare the rise and fall of a great empire and a steadfast love that outlasts treachery, exile and even death. Napoleon is now Emperor, but his passionate union with Josephine is severely troubled. This is a shattering climax to a completely engrossing and tragic love story.

" SANDRA GULLAND was raised in Berkeley, California, where she attended San Francisco State College and the University of California at Berkeley. After immigrating to Canada in 1970, she taught at a school in an Inuit village before moving to Toronto to work as a book editor. She has worked on the Josephine trilogy for a decade. The mo...
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Title:Last Great Dance on EarthFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:372 pages, 7.95 × 5.35 × 0.92 inShipping dimensions:7.95 × 5.35 × 0.92 inPublished:July 19, 2001Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0006485626

ISBN - 13:9780006485629

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved It A New York Times quote says, "So precise, so distilled, so beautiful that one does not want to miss any pleasure it might yield". That is the perfect description of this novel. It is a ode to living outside the box, to nonconformity, to transcending the everyday and to making domesticity serve you instead of the other way around. This novel beautifully depicts family relations with all of its flaws and nuances. How love can look different to those on the outside and how love, no matter how flawed feels on the inside.
Date published: 2018-04-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Stunning Conclusion! I cried. Several times. How could I not? Sandra Gulland has done her research and her staying true as possible to history only makes the tragedy of the story more poignant. How could we not feel Josephine's pain, watching her agonize over her position and her inability to give Napoleon a much needed heir, and the relentless abuse she endured from her in-laws. How could one not grimace as Napoleon and Josephine, still deeply in love despite years of marriage and many affairs on Napoleon's part, are finally and inevitably torn apart by reasons of state, of all things, after surviving everything that would have crippled any other marriage. And how could one not cringe realizing that the whole sacrifice was in vain, that a Habsburg wife and a male heir were still not enough to protect the empire and Napoleon. After that it's just one unhappy event after another, culminating in an ending and an epilogue that assure us that all the divorces, all the years of separation, and miles of distance could not erase Napoleon and Josephine from each others hearts, any more than they could erase them from ours. I am supremely excited to read Gulland's next book, The Game of Hope, which will give us 15-year old Hortense's perspective on the story. I loved Hortense's character in the trilogy and I doubt this next book will let us down, not to mention how refreshing it will be to get another peek at Napoleon and Josephine, not yet burdened by Empire and still very much at the height of their marriage.
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read A great novel with excellent prose!
Date published: 2017-08-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Grey everything, but lovely A wonderful book. The writing is beautiful, and the the story unique. Yet the base struggles of conforming to what a society dictates are relatable for all of us. The classic American hints of transcendentalism, nonconformism, and domesticity meld well with the growth and loss that the characters go through.
Date published: 2017-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wear a sweater This book is cold. It is sometimes wet. There are old newspapers blowing around, and piles of wet and decomposing leaves all over the place. So make yourself a cup of tea and wait for a cloudy day to read this book, because it is not a cheerful, whistling kind of book. I did not enjoy the story, because it deals with the sad and dark states of the human mind. I gave it a 'four' because the writing itself is beautiful, with a grand evocative use of words which are satisfying to read even as the plot is not.
Date published: 2010-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Last Great Dance on Earth, The Last Great Dance on Earth, by Sandra Gulland (Third book of the Jospehine B. Trilogy) ...Josephine and Bonaparte have just gotten married... I'm often asked if it’s possible to read this book without having read the previous two. First of all, the three volumes in the trilogy are a continuation of eachother. So, in order to appreciate the story in full, you need to read all three. Josephine's life takes such dramatic turns that it almost seems as though she lived three lives in one. Almost like three powerful novels culminating in The Last Great Dance on Earth. This one, I felt, was truly a touching and emotional read. As the first two, the third volume is also written in diary form. In this book however, Sandra Gulland, develops the memoirs even further, without ever altering them. For me, this brought Josephine to life, closer than imaginable. From the beginning of this book, Gulland lures the reader further and further in, until you become totally captivated by Josephine’s life. It was impossible not to befriend Josephine. Her letters called out to me and I often thought myself to be her priveleged confidante. Gulland skilfully captures our emotions throughout these letters. This can be seen in: Josephine’s unsuccessful and painful ordeals to have Napoleon’s baby; Bonaparte’s family’s disdain for her as well as their scheming plans to rid themselves of her; Josephine’s loneliness; Her pain and humiliation while enduring Bonaparte’s affairs; Her resilience, sacrifice and surrender for the name of love and a greater purpose…and more. I was able to feel Josephine’s emotions throughout the book. At certain points, I even became angry at her for accepting Napoleon’s affairs; but this didn’t last for long. Despite my views, somehow, I made exceptions for Josephine. I understood her reasons and also came to accept them. She understood Napoleon’s greater purpose and all that it entailed. She understood that he was a man like no other, “Je le veux”- and he conquered. Her voice, feelings and motives came through clearly throughout this historical novel. Very often, I become teary-eyed when reading about the lives of historical figures- but with Josephine, I caught myself sobbing…several times (as though I’d learned about this for the first time). Josephine’s love, tenderness, understanding and total devotion to Napoleon, her man, came first, above all else. Besides her great love for Napoleon, Josephine’s tremendous love for her children is constant throughout the book. The detail in portraying Josephine as a caring and encouraging mother who stood by her children in their every decision, made her all the more endearing to me. The way Josephine cared for Hortense through her painful family tragedy and marital problems - Her willingness to take care of her grandchildren when Hortense needed her most- her children could always depend on her to be there. Eugene and Hortense’s letters to her are filled with caring words that reveal love and concern. There is a clear sense of their close and loving relationship in the way they all interact with eachother. They are together and united in every decision, regardless of their own personal feelings; the Divorce being a perfect example of this, as well as, their unity in accepting and welcoming Bonaparte’s decision to marry Marie Louise. These unbelievably difficult situations which must have required an enormous sense of loyalty, love and acceptance, continuously surface the story to emphasize the passionate life that Josephine lived. And in the end, Eugene’s touching letter announcing the death of his beloved mother to Bonaparte, addressed: Sire, Emperor (Papa), completely moved me to tears. I know it’s history, and I’ve read this all before; Even so, The Last Great Dance on Earth is now forever sealed within my heart. Up until her death, Josephine only wanted what was best for her Bonaparte, the man who “had inspired her to believe once again in heroes, in destiny, but above all in the miracle of love”. p.4 Passionate times, beautiful details, sorrowful moments, love beyond boundaries- Bringing history to life, The Last Great Dance on Earth is an exceptional book.
Date published: 2009-05-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from History to life This was an absolutely amazing last book to the Josephine bonaparte trilogy. The characters are detailed, and lived such interesting and extraordinary lives that you cannot put this book down. This was an excellent read.
Date published: 2003-07-14

From Our Editors

This third installment of the relationship between Josephine and Napoleon Bonaparte concentrates of the waning glory years of his power and the eventual collapse of their union. The Last Great Dance on Earth from Sandra Gulland picks up where Napoleon crowns himself Emperor and makes Josephine his Empress. Through all his infidelities Josephine has come to love Napoleon and desperately wants to provide him with an heir. However, this proves to be very difficult even after radical attempts. With no apparent heir, political instability for Napoleon and the rest of Europe begins to show itself. Things deteriorate as Napoleon’s brother lusts for his power, his sister devises sinister plans to ease the jealousy she feels for Josephine and Napoleon’s own mother refuses to attend his coronation. Before long the bubble bursts and Napoleon insists on a divorce just prior to being exiled. She is left with nothing but her love for a man who cannot return it. Engrossing and fast-paced, this will appeal to more than just history buffs.