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The Bonaparte Dynasty

Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France
Empress Josephine

Books About the Bonapartes

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Book categories: Bonapartes, Napoleon I, Josephine, Jerome, Joseph, Lucien, Pauline, Hortense, Napoleon II, Napoleon III, Other, Movies & Documentaries, Magazine, French Royalty

The Bonapartes

The Golden Bees: The Story of the Bonapartes by Theo Aronson. A domestic chronicle of the greedy, amorous, quarrelsome Corsican clan that produced two French emperors and a dazzling assortment of pretenders, eccentrics, and adventuresses.

Jerome Bonaparte

Jerome Bonaparte: The War Years, 1800-1815 by Glenn J. Lamar. Biography of Napoleon's younger brother, who became king of Westphalia.

Betsy Bonaparte by Helen Jean Burn. Biography. Born in the U.S. to a wealthy family, Elizabeth Patterson shook society when she married Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Jerome. The emperor annulled the marriage, and Betsy's failed quest to win royal status for her son consumed the rest of her life.

Betsy Bonaparte: The Belle of Baltimore by Claude Bourguignon-Frasseto. Biography of the American woman who married Jerome Bonaparte but was abandoned by him.

Wondrous Beauty by Carol Berkin. A biography of Betsy Bonaparte, the belle of Baltimore who infuriated Napoleon by marrying his brother Jerome.

The Ambitious Madame Bonaparte by Ruth Hull Chatlien. Fiction. A clever girl in 19th century Baltimore, Betsy Patterson dreams of living in Europe. When she marries Jerome Bonaparte, she believes her dreams have come true -- until Jerome's older brother Napoleon becomes her enemy.

The Amazing Mrs. Bonaparte by Harnett Thomas Kane. Novel about Betsy Bonaparte.

Joseph Bonaparte

The Man Who Had Been King: The American Exile of Napoleon's Brother Joseph by Patricia Tyson Stroud. About Joseph Bonaparte, who was king of Naples from 1806 to 1808, and king of Spain from 1808 to 1813.

The Reluctant King: Joseph Bonaparte, King of the Two Sicilies and Spain by Michael Ross.

The Gentle Bonaparte: A Biography of Joseph, Napoleon's Elder Brother by Owen Connelly.

Legacy of Glory: The Bonaparte Kingdom of Spain, 1808-1813 by Michael Glover.

Books About Naples
Books About Spain

Napoleon's Brother Lucien

Napoleon and the Rebel: A Story of Brotherhood, Passion, and Power by Marcello Simonetta and Noga Arikha. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte's favorite brother, Lucien, helped him seize power, but Lucien's love for his anti-monarchist wife, Alexandrine, caused him to fall out of favor with the emperor.

Napoleon's Sister Pauline

Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire by Flora Fraser. Biography of Napoleon's favorite sister. Considered the most beautiful woman in Europe, she shocked the continent with her love affairs, but remained loyal to the emperor (if not to her husbands).

The Princess of Nowhere by Prince Lorenzo Borghese. Novel about Napoleon Bonaparte's sister Pauline and her tempestuous marriage.

Imperial Venus: A Novel of Napoleon's Favorite Sister by Edgar Maass. Fictional account of the life of Napoleon's sister Pauline. First published in 1947.

Napoleon's Stepdaughter, Queen Hortense

Daughter to Napoleon by Constance Wright. A biography of Napoleon's stepdaughter Hortense de Beauharnais, who became the wife of Louis Bonaparte, queen of Holland, and the mother of Napoleon III.

The Memoirs of Hortense, Queen of Holland by Queen Hortense. The queen's autobiography.


A Rose for Virtue by Norah Lofts. A very good novel about the life of Napoleon's stepdaughter Hortense.

The Game of Hope by Sandra Gulland. Paris, 1798. Hortense de Beauharnais is at boarding school. Her mother has married Napoleon Bonaparte, soon to become the most powerful man in France. Hortense's future may not be in her power to decide. For young adult readers.

Napoleon II

King of Rome: A Biography of Napoleon's Tragic Son by Andre Castelot.

Hitler's Gift to France: The Return of the Ashes of Napoleon II by Georges Poisson, translated by Robert L. Miller. In 1940, Hitler decided to return the ashes of Napoleon II, the Aiglon, only son of Napoleon I. The gesture precipitated a political crisis. This book sheds light on an incident most historians have been at a loss to explain.

Napoleon III

Napoleon III: A Life by Fenton Bresler. Biography of the 19th century emperor.

The Shadow Emperor: A Biography of Napoleon III by Alan Strauss-Schom. Louis-Napoleon's achievements confuse even historians. He revolutionized infrastructure and the economy at the price of financial scandals.

The Second French Republic, 1848-1852: A Political Reinterpretation by Christopher Guyver. Follows the story of the Second French Republic from its idealistic beginnings to its formal replacement by the Second Empire with Napoleon III as emperor.

The French Second Empire: An Anatomy of Political Power by Roger Price. Look at how Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was able to establish a Second Empire, and the destruction of the regime because of war against Prussia.

The Fall of the Third Napoleon by Theo Aronson. Analyzes the reasons for the collapse of the French Second Empire, and takes a sympathetic look at Napoleon III and his wife, Eugenie.

End of a Dynasty: The Last Days of the Prince Imperial, Zululand 1879 by Paul Deleage. Written by the only French journalist to cover the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, this is an account of the last few months in the life of the Prince Imperial, only child of Emperor Napoleon III.

Queen Victoria and the Bonapartes by Theo Aronson. Queen Victoria was completely bowled over by Napoleon III's quiet charm and buccaneer looks. His wife, Empress Eugenie, became almost an honorary member of the British royal family.

Empress Eugenie

Eugenie: The Empress and Her Empire by Desmond Seward. From 1853 to 1870 Eugenie de Montijo was Empress of the French, sharing the Second Empire with her husband Napoleon III, at times standing in for him as Regent. Her actions affected the course of history.

Distaff Diplomacy: The Empress Eugénie and the Foreign Policy of the Second Empire by Nancy Nichols Barker. The Empress Eugénie, beautiful wife of Napoleon III, was controversial. Her enemies blamed her the fall of the Second Empire and the defeat of France. This book examines her influence on foreign policy.

The Empress Eugenie 1870 to 1910 by Edward Legge. About the wife of Napoleon III. First published in 1910.

Love, Power and Revenge in Paris and Madrid by Nancy Becker. About the triangle of Napoleon III, Empress Eugenie, and the Duke of Sesto.

Empress Eugenie: Her Secret Revealed by Joyce Cartlidge. Did Napoleon III's wife have an illegitimate child, conceived when she was a teenager in Spain and fathered by the only man she ever truly loved?

Empress Eugénie and the Arts by Alison McQueen. A study of Empress Eugenie's position as a private collector and a public patron.

Napoleon III & Paris

Paris Reborn: Napoléon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Quest to Build a Modern City by Stephane Kirkland. Traditionally known as a dirty, dangerous city, Paris was transformed from 1848 to 1870 into the city we know today thanks to Napoleon III and a civil servant, Georges-Eugéne Haussmann.

Paris, City of Dreams: Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann, and the Creation of Paris by Mary McAuliffe. Napoleon III and his right-hand man rebuilt Paris in less than two decades due to the emperor's vision and the regime's authoritarianism.


The Emperor of Nature: Charles-Lucien Bonaparte and His World by Patricia Tyson Stroud. Biography. Charles-Lucien was the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and a well-known naturalist.

Books About Napoleon I
Books About Josephine
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