Skip to main content
PBS logo
Want fewer ads?

Book Review of Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe (Josephine B., Bk 2)

Tales of Passion, Tales of Woe (Josephine B., Bk 2)
reviewed on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1

I found the first book in this trilogy while taking a cruise in 2005. It was in the library swap section, so I started it then and there and took it home with me. I had never read anything on Josephine Bonaparte or Napoleon before, so it was all new to me and I really enjoyed it. I subsequently got this second book in the trilogy as a gift.

This book, and the other 2 books, are very pleasant reading. They are fiction, but Ms. Gulland has done her research of the times thoroughly, so I felt that I had also learned an accurate account of French history from those years.

Since reading these books, however, I have read a purely historical, non-fiction book about Josephine and found that this trilogy of books is extremely sympathetic to Josephine to the point of leaving out some the less honorable parts of her life. So, even though the historical events are correct, I didn't feel her life was presented accurately at all. For example, in the non-fiction book, the introduction states that many people did not like Josephine and that she has not been portrayed kindly among historians. This was a shock to me since in Ms. Gulland's books, Josephine is shown in such a favorable, sympathetic light.

The books are written in diary form, so maybe the author is presenting the skewed facts as how Josephine would want them to appear to the public, conveniently leaving out some of her extramarital affairs for example, or turning them into platonic friendships. That could be the case. Anyway, the book was fun to read and very enjoyable as fiction.

Want fewer ads?