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:
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.