Venus of Empire: The Life of Pauline Bonaparte Flora Fraser
Celebrated for her beauty and notorious for her passions, Pauline Bonaparte Borghese was a fascinating woman. Considered by many to be the most beautiful woman in Europe at the turn of the nineteenth century, she scandalised the continent with the boldness of her love affairs, her opulent wardrobe and jewels and, most famously, her decision to pose nearly nude for Antonio Canova's sculpture. But just as remarkable was Pauline's deep loyalty to her brother, the emperor. She was witness to Napoleon's great victories in Italy, and she was often with him and her rival for his loyalty, the Empress Josephine, at Malmaison. In Venus of Empire, Flora Fraser casts new light on the Napoleonic era while crafting a dynamic, vivid portrait of mesmerising woman.