This is Empress Josephine Bonaparte. She looks pretty regal, huh? She was a tough gal---not born to be an Empress, but became one when her husband Napoleon declared that she was. It's a different sort of royal saga--neither she nor her husband actually had any royal blood in them...in so far as allowing them to assume to French throne.
If you are interested in Josephine, I can recommend a couple of books. One of the most beautiful biographies I've read of her is Carroly Erickson's. It's written is a quick, breathy way. It's sort of like the author was there watching. Its very nicely done and you'll find yourself feeling bad for her, good for her and everything in between. She loved her daughter Hortense--a devoted daughter herself and a Queen---and she adored her son. Josephine's life was hard, but it makes for interesting reading.
There's another book out there by Sandra Gulland. She wrote three of them actually, and they all go together in a set. They are the fictional diaries of Josephine---from childhood through marriage and childbirth---all the way through her years with Napoleon and them some. The title of the first book is The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B. The second is called Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe. The last book (diary) is titled The Last Great Dance on Earth. Superb!
What got me thinking of Josephine? I was in Barnes and Noble the other day and happened to be browsing the bargain rack and found the last two books for $4.98 each. For me that is a heavenly find. Do you know that I was lucky enough to correspond via email with the talented author, Sandra Gulland? It was a thrill for me to do so and she gave me some valuable advice. The reason I got in touch with her was because I was engrossed in the story of her twenty year love story with the Empress Josephine. She couldn't get enough of her and collected books for years and years---anything she could get her hands on. There was something about Josephine that intrigued her to the point of spending years learning about her life. She had to write these books! At least that's what the interviews say about it. And I was curious about her passion for Josephine because I...well, I have a similar passion for a few of the British Royals.
Although I read about so many, there are two or three royals in particular that just suck me in. I can't get enough of them. Seriously. I read their memoirs and biographies over and over and over. I felt like I might be the only person in the world to be obsessed like that! And I am obsessed. But lo and behold---no---there are others like me in the world.
I'm on vacation this week and the books I asked to be loaned to my local library are in. I can't wait to get them in my hands! So, I have them to read and also several other royal biographies from the library. I have a hankering to run down to the old bookstore near me and pick up the copy of the biography of Diana Cooper...one of Britian's elite in the 1930's. Her impressions on the royals will be very useful.
I'm also critiquing an anthology for someone and need to get that done and back to the writer. After that is done I am committed to critiquing a manuscript which will probably be submitted to Samhain. Its for one of my writer friends.
I was also invited to be a friend of Enspiren Press, via Bebo. Their website is up but they are still working on it and they look awesome. I just signed up for their forums and their yahoo email group.
Some of my writer friends are thinking of going to Heather Graham's New Orleans Writers Conference which will be held approx. Labor Day weekend. I don't know if I'll be able to go...one of these days I will. But there's so many good conferences....which one would I go to first?
Haven't heard from the pubber on my anthology or my recent proposal on another one. My feeling is that they are very busy and I just have to sit tight and bide my time.
But my vacation week should be a fun one---I'll have my books and can spend time at the pool---its supposed to feel like 100 degrees this week. My son has a friend sleeping over for a few days and tonight I think I'll make a big pot of spaghetti.
Dashing off to do some housework and think about my Queens...oh, and one final question...Do you know which Queen adored her youngest son with her whole being---and because he was sickly, it caused her quite a bit of anguish? I think I will post their picture next time...