"Rodenberg inventively uses Bonaparte's own unfinished novel to tell the story of the despot's rise to power, which she juxtaposes against the story of his last love affair. Told creatively and with excellent research!"
--Stephanie Dray, New York Times
and USA Today
best-selling author of America's First Daughter
and The Women of Chateau Lafayette
"Beautiful and poignant."
--Allison Pataki, New York Times
best-selling author of The Queen's Fortune
With its delightful adaptation of Napoleon Bonaparte's real attempt to write romantic fiction, Finding Napoleon: A Novel
offers a fresh take on Europe's most powerful man after he's lost everything--except his last love. A forgotten woman of history--the audacious Countess Albine--helps narrate their tale of intrigue, desire, and betrayal.
After the defeated Emperor Napoleon goes into exile on tiny St. Helena Island in the remote South Atlantic, he and his lover, Albine de Montholon, plot to escape and rescue his young son. Banding together enslaved Africans, British sympathizers, a Jewish merchant, a Corsican rogue, and French followers, they confront British opposition--as well as treachery within their own ranks--with sometimes subtle, sometimes bold, but always desperate action.
Interspersed within the exile story, Napoleon finishes his real novel Clisson that he started writing as a young man. Now it's a father's message to the young son whom his enemies took from him, but how can they get it to the boy?
When Napoleon and Albine break faith with one another, ambition and Albine's husband threaten their reconciliation. To succeed, Napoleon must learn whom to trust. To survive, Albine must decide whom to betray.
This elegant, richly researched novel reveals the Napoleon history conceals and the Countess Albine history has forgotten.
About the Author
Margaret Rodenberg's passion for French history began when she lived in France as a young teen with her US Navy family. An avid traveler who has visited over sixty countries, she has journeyed more than 30,000 miles to conduct Napoleonic research, including to St. Helena Island in the remote South Atlantic where Finding Napoleon takes place. She's a former businesswoman, an award-winning writer, and a proud director of the Napoleonic Historical Society, a non-profit that promotes knowledge of the Napoleonic era. Her website, www.margaretrodenberg.com, reports on Napoleon's ongoing presence in world culture. Finding Napoleon is her first novel. She lives near Washington, DC. She's as happy in a kayak and she is in a museum.