New York Times Bestselling Author

Teaser Tuesday: A New York Yankee in Bonaparte's Court

Way back when, back in the Stone Age before Orchid Tour, I promised to fill you in on the heroine of Pink IX, an American named Emma Morris Delagardie. Why an American? And why an American with a French name?

We met Emma very, very briefly in The Orchid Affair. I also shared a tiny snippet from Pink IX, as she criticizes Augustus Whittlesby on his poetic endeavors. (You can find both of those on previous Teaser Tuesday posts.)

Here’s the scoop on my New York Yankee in Bonaparte’s court:

Born Emma Morris, my heroine grew up in Putnam County, right on the Hudson. (And if you’re wondering if she’s related to Gouverneur Morris, the answer to that is yes.) At the age of thirteen, when her uncle-by marriage, James Monroe, was appointed American envoy to France in 1794, Emma made the trip to Paris with her aunt, Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, and her little cousin Eliza. Both Emma and Eliza were enrolled in Mme Campan’s school for young ladies, where Emma became fast friends with another pupil at the school,
Hortense de Beauharnais.

And then there was Paul. Just before the Monroes were due to leave France in 1796, Emma ran off with a Frenchman named Paul Delagardie. Emma was fifteen. Delagardie was in his thirties. The elopement sparked an international furor. Disowned by her own family, Emma sought refuge with her old friend Hortense– and Hortense’s mother, Josephine Bonaparte.

It’s now 1804 and that was all years ago. A familiar fixture at Bonaparte’s court, Emma has been widowed for nearly four years. She’s seen Paris change around her and her friend Hortense move from obscurity to daughter of an Emperor. She’s been in France so long she doesn’t quite know what to call herself or do with herself: she’s certainly not French, but she’s not altogether American anymore either.

What’s a person caught between two worlds to do? Other than, perhaps, flirt with a certain ridiculous poet….

18 Comments

  1. Elizabeth W on February 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Oooh, Pink Takes New York! And France!!
    Can’t wait!

  2. Jessica S. on February 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Bounce bounce bounce!!! Can’t wait!

  3. Amanda Isabel on February 15, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Nice! Can’t wait for this one! 😀

  4. Chelsea on February 15, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    Can’t wait!

  5. Shelli on February 15, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    This. Is. Excellent. I love, love the back story and I’m even more excited for Pink IX. (By the time you have a title for it, we won’t be able to get past the Pink IX.)

  6. Gina on February 15, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Can I just say that Teaser Tuesday was a really fantastic idea? I’m so excited now! 😀

  7. Suzanne on February 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I like Emma so much more now than I did last Tuesday– what a fascinating backstory she has!

  8. Marian Berthoud on February 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I am so thrilled to see that Emma is going to abuse our desperate poet/spy Whittlesby a bit more!

  9. Chanpreet on February 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Whoa! Emma turned out to be a dark horse! Eloped at 15! That certainty adds another layer to Emma!

  10. Rachel Adrianna on February 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    I love that we have another “bad girl” heroine other than Pen… cannot wait!!!

  11. Heather on February 15, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Wonder how the NYC aspect will play out for our modern day heroine….

    Love Emma and can’t wait for the book. Such a long year and it just started.

  12. Ashley on February 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    No wonder Emma has so much moxy. She’s a New Yorker!

  13. Carole on February 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Amazing!

  14. Jane on February 15, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Now I want to see how much of this backstory you reveal in the book, and how you do it–oh, I want the whole book *now*. (Stamps little foot.)

    Hmm. Still no book. Well,it might have worked. Misbehaving worked for Emma! Maybe it has to be really major misbehavior…

  15. Linda on February 16, 2011 at 12:03 am

    Would Emma’s husband be any relation to Lord Peter Wimsey’s maternal uncle, Paul Delagardie?

  16. Kelsey on February 16, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Hey!
    Does this mean we’re going to see more of the Bonapartes? Sounds interesting!

  17. AnneK on February 16, 2011 at 8:05 am

    This is great! I adore Emma already. I have often complained to my long suffering husband that there are so many English and French and so few American heroines for this time period. I have so many quesitons! Will the story of Betsy Patterson Bonaparte (Jerome’s American wife) figure into Eloise’s thesis? Does Mrs. Dolley Madison (one of my all-time favorite historical people) make an appearance in a Pink book? Theodosia Burr Alston? There are so many possibilities, I can’t wait!

  18. Carrie on February 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Sounds like another must read! Can’t wait to read the book and see what lies ahead for Emma!!

Leave a Comment