Josephine de Beauharnais
Josephine de Beauharnais was the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte. Josephine was born on June 23rd 1763.She was the daughter of wealthy sugar planter Martinique, in the West Indies. At the age of 17 Josephine married Vicomte Alexandre de Beauharnais. With her marriage to Vicomte Alexandre, Josephine gave birth to a son, Eugène, and a daughter Hortense. During the Reign of Terror Vicomte Alexandre was accused of poorly defending Mainz and was considered an aristocrat, and was sentenced to death. Josephine who was considered too close to the counter-revolutionary financial circles was imprisoned, but five days later was freed due to the death of Maximilien de Robespierre, which led to the fall of Reign of Terror. Soon Josephine was a mistress of Vicomte de Baras, who was a government leader, under whose influence Josephine was able to get back some of her late husband’s property. With her close relationships with Baras, Josephine soon became a leader in Paris. In 1795 Josephine met Napoleon at Baras’ home, where immediately Napoleon fell in love with her. Josephine now a widow and a lonely women, didn’t have anyone to rely on and was in financial debt, so when in 1796 Napoleon proposed marriage Josephine agreed. Josephine’s status in the society was an asset to Napoleon in his climb to power. Two days later after their marriage Napoleon left France to lead an army in Italy. During his campaign in Italy, Napoleon wrote several love letters to Josephine expressing his love to her. It was often reported that during Napoleons time away from France, Josephine had affairs with several men, when rumors of Josephine’s affairs reached Napoleon, he was infuriated and their relationship was never the same, his letters to Josephine were less loving and it is reported that Napoleon had several affairs with women .Napoleon and Josephine did not have any children and by 1809, Napoleon was afraid that he might die with a heir to his throne in his...
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