Napoleon I and Josephine

Malmaison was a real treat. I enjoy discovering smaller châteaux which are not “too much” in size or decor. I defiinately do not need to see a Versailles type château each type to find beauty.

I was happy for my visit. But, some people like to have that “gilted edge” that comes from celebrities,royalty,politicians or the like. It does stir up interest when famous people are involved.

I like to go beyond and look at who these people were. I like History and was able to “bone up” a bit on the subject.

Here is a brief  look at the château’s royal couple,  Napoleon I  and  Josephine.

The “master of the household”, being not only but Napoleon I  (1769-1821).

He was born in Ajaccio, on the island of Corsica. He started his career in military school, and proceeded to rise in the ranks of the French army  and on to politics. He became what was called the  First Consul in 1800. Napoleon had  taken the power over the older rule that had followed the French revolution. This made him the most powerful man in the country. He was ultimately proclaimed “emperor of the French” on the 18 May, 1804.

One of the outstanding events of his reign as Emperor includes his crowning the 2 December 1804 at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. It set the tone that instead being crowned by a member of the church, he just crowned himself!

The portrait of the coronation by the artist named David . You can find this work of art at the Louvre.

The Emperor has already crowned himself; he is now crowning Josephine:

The Emperor is of course famous for the numerous battles in Europe that have left their names: Austerlitz,Iena,  Wagram  or Waterloo. Also, the long and arduous march of his troops up towards Moscow.

Napoleon’s first wife was Joséphine de Beauharnais (née  de Tascher de la Pagerie), Josephine  was born in 1763 in Trois-islets,Martinique ( a French Caribbean island).She was married to an Army General, with whom she had two children. In 1785, the couple decided on an amicable separation. But in the tumult of the French revolution, her husband is arrested and guillotined.

In 1795, Josephine meets Napoleon, and they marry the following year in a civil ceremony the9 March, 1796. The couple’s letter exchange is well documented, having sent each other many passionate letters.

On 15 december, 1809, the divorce is pronounced. But, leaving Josephine with her rank as Empress-Queen, the château at Malmaison in 1810 and the château de Navarre.

Napoleon married a second time in 1810. His wife was named  Marie Louse, Archduchess of Austria. This marriage did produce a son named Napoleon Francis Joseph Charles.

Josephine passed on the 29 May,1814 at Malmaison. She is buried at the local church in Rueil.

Napoleon had a more tragic ending. He was exiled to the  island of  Saint Helena in October 1815. Napoleon died on the island on 5 May, 1821. His body rests in a casket that is under the dome of the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris.

See you again for more pictures of Malmaison!


6 thoughts on “Napoleon I and Josephine

  1. Bonjour Barbara .. Wow you love your history , I should pay more attention 🙂 ..

    If I do manage to get back over in the spring or better weather , seems like a great place to go , especially if the garden areas will be open too. Pleased you are feeling tip top again .. cannot wait to read your next post.

    Hugs Anne x0x

  2. Napoléon seems to be one of the most famous French abroad. He was a fascinating little man for sure… I didn’t know Joséphine was born in Martinique!

  3. Hello friends 😉

    Anne- Yes, this is a very goos spot to tour in. We can do that the next time. But careful about your History; a “pop quiz will be in your mail box in 24 hours… LOL!!!

    Take care xo

    Dedene- Hi there 🙂 I am taking a very objective view on the Emperor to just see the facts surrounding him. Yes, it is an important period for the development of France.
    No problem at all for the History reminder 🙂 I like to bone up on History now & then!

    Zhu- Salut. I am thinking that Napoleon’s reputation is something that has grown with time. Yes; Josephine is from Martinique. I have never been in the DOM so I can’t say much more. But it must be shown online.

    Have a nice day everyone!

  4. What a fascinating and informative post, Barbara!

    LOVED it! Isn’t it funny how back in those days there were no cameras, so everything was documented through paintings. Yet, you can still get a definite feel for who these people were.

    I too enjoy history, but when I was a kid they didn’t teach it in an interesting way (such as this post), it was more about remembering dates and stuff. Boring. It wasn’t until I got older did I really learn to appreciate history. And now with the Internet, there is a whole new world opened to learning! And fun!

    Thanks so much for sharing, my friend!

    Have a great weekend!


  5. Hey there Ronnie,

    I am very glad that I could make History fun! Hey, I know what you mean. Back in our days, we learned things the hard way. A lot of dates and names. Thats wrong because you miss a lot by rote learning.

    True; Internet makes learning fun. Much more visual and interactive!!
    Back in the nineteenth century, there was indeed no photography until towards the 1900s. So, you only had portraits or drawings. How the world has changed and Thank God…. because I can’t draw a straight line 🙂

    XO to you my friend.

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