Teaser Tuesday: Faces to Names

In reading through the page proofs of The Garden Intrigue, I’ve noticed that the thing is riddled with real historical people, running around as though they’re fictional. So, since it’s rather nice to be able to put faces to names, here are some of the (real) folks you’ll meet in The Garden Intrigue:

Robert Livingston

Emma’s cousin is just at the end of his tenure as Envoy to France and ready to return to his Hudson home, Arryl. While in France, Livingston has teamed up with an inventor named Robert Fulton to experiment with the idea of a ship run by steam.

Robert Fulton

Emma has known the American-born inventor ever since he created a stir in Paris in 1800 with the first ever panorama– they even named a street after him: the Rue des Panoramas. Fulton has been of invaluable assistance to Emma, helping to come up with ingenious engineering solutions to the drainage issues on Emma’s (deceased) husband’s estate. Not to mention that he’s pretty useful when it comes to making special effects for a masque.

Hortense de Beauharnais Bonaparte

Emma’s best friend since their days at Mme Campan’s school for young ladies, Hortense is the daughter of Josephine Bonaparte by her first marriage. Hortense is locked into a loveless marriage with Napoleon’s younger brother Louis. (For more about Hortense, see my prior post, here.)

Caroline Bonaparte Murat

Napoleon’s youngest sister has cordially detested Hortense ever since their school days at Mme C’s– and she detests Emma by extension. She’s a prime mover in the attempt to get Bonaparte to discard his wife and take a younger model. The Bonapartes and the Beauharnais do not get along.

Josephine Bonaparte

Her real name may have been Rose, but when Bonaparte started calling her Josephine, why object? Easy going and good-natured, Bonaparte’s Creole wife has a potent charm and a taste for expensive things. She’s also several years older than her husband (although they both lied about their ages on their marriage certificate) and under attack for her inability to provide an heir.

Napoleon Bonaparte

You saw this one coming, right? In the summer of 1804, Napoleon has just had himself voted Emperor of the French– but he’s miffed because none of his admirals like his plans for the invasion of England.

There are also a bunch of admirals floating around, but since this post is getting long, I’ll save the next batch of historical characters for another round.


  1. Sheila on May 24, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Napoleon must have had a lot of charisma to snag a woman like Josephine, esp as she is not usually portrayed as ambitious. And of course, the army was devoted to him. Is Mme. Campan the same lady who was involved in training Marie Antoinette? If so, how did she survive the Terror?

    Thanks Lauren , this is fun. You gotta love those clothes.

  2. Lauren on May 24, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Sheila, you have the most uncanny timing! I just finished writing up a post partly about Mme Campan for next Tuesday. But, yes, she is the one who was a lady in waiting to Marie Antoinette.

    The Napoleon and Josephine story is a long and snarled one– basically, she wasn’t all that interested in him when they married. This is going to be a gross simplification, but here it goes. Josephine was in dire financial straits (she usually was) and her protector at the time, Barras, engineered the marriage to Napoleon, who was infatuated with her. The tables turned after Napoleon, in Egypt, heard that she’d been cuckolding him during his absence. He threatened to divorce her, relenting only after Josephine’s children, of whom he was incredibly fond, pleaded with him on her behalf. After that, it became Josephine who tried to please him and curry favor and Napoleon who tore at her feelings with his mistresses and the ever-present threat of potential divorce.

  3. Lauren on May 24, 2011 at 11:48 am

    p.s. some good reading on the Napoleon/Josephine relationship: Evangeline Bruce’s “Napoleon and Josephine: An Improbable Marriage” and Theo Aronson’s “Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story”.

  4. Susan on May 24, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    It’s interesting to see real people in historical fiction, as long as the author has done the proper research, which you have done.
    I just finished “To Kiss a Spy” from Jane Feather, which was filled with real people. This one takes it back a few years, to just after Henry VIII, when Edward was ruling and dying. I had to google the history of British monarchy so I would have at least a basic understanding of what was going on at the time.
    It would be easy to just think of these people as pages on a history book. Reading about them even in fiction reminds us that they were real people with thoughts, feelings, and strategies. They were known for big things, but they also had day-to-day lives and, as they say, put their pants on one leg at a time.

  5. Am7 on May 25, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Bonaparte looks way cuter without his hat.
    We already seen a lot of these people in Pink #1, but that’s cool.
    I loved 1776 to death as a child. Robert Livingston delegate from New York totally makes me think of that.
    Finally ooo Steam! I think we need a Pink Steam Punk! Steam Punk! And then a wild west pink set in like Missouri!

  6. Ginger on May 25, 2011 at 8:19 am

    As always Lauren, these little side tidbits are pinkalicious! Thanks!

  7. Laura M on May 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    As always amazing!!!! Can´t wait for the book!!!

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