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Betsy Bonaparte Over the past 130 years Elizabeth Betsy Patterson Bonaparte has inspired countless books movies articles and fictionalized accounts None captures the full measure of her fascinating life The product of thirty years of study Helen Jean Burn's life of Betsy Bonaparte surpasses its predecessors in scope depth and soulBorn in Balti to a wealthy family in 1785 Elizabeth Patterson shook local and Parisian society when she wed Jerome Bonaparte brother of the Emperor Napoleon Insisting on a better future for his brother the emperor annulled the marriage but not before it produced a son Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte Betsy's failed uest to win royal status for her son and grandsons consumed the remainder of her seventy four years decades that transformed her from the glamorous belle of Balti into a shrewd and successful businesswoman determined to protect her family Burn's biography of Betsy Bonaparte is written uite conversationally with short chapters which will make it easy for the layperson to read It wasn't until the end of the book where she discusses other portrayals of Betsy that you learn she has taken a completely different view of her than most of her source material Instead of a disobedient gold digger who defied her father's wishes to pursue a royal husband Jerome Bonaparte Napoleon's brother Burn presents an engaging and smart woman who knew who she wanted to be with and where she wanted to live Unfortunately due to Napoleon's interference her marriage to Jerome was declared void and she spent the rest of her lifetime trying to establish legitimacy for her son Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte in hopes he could inherit and marry well However like his grandfather her preferred America to Europe and chose an America wife that Betsy thought was beneath him She eventually softened and approved the marriage but her daughter in law never got over her initial reaction and thus limited Betsy's influence over their son Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte Jr who eventually moved to France and became involved with politics there Highly detailed but not burdensome like listening to a good friend tell a compelling story Burn's biography of Betsy Bonaparte paints a good picture of a complicated woman searching for her happiness and later moral redemption within the Bonaparte family A beautifulBalti belle marries Napolean's youngest brother but the Emperor has the marriage annulled despite the arrival of son so he can marry his brother to political advantage The heroine triumphs through a long life of continuing travails Sounds like an overly dramatic romantic novel but it's a true story Despite extensive historical research and freuent documental citations Burn's writing is like conversing with a friend This was a good straightforward biography of Balti's Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte sister in law to Napoleon It was a smooth read easy to follow and did an excellent job of portraying the lives of Betsy and her family

  • Paperback
  • 244 pages
  • Betsy Bonaparte
  • Helen J. Burn
  • English
  • 04 February 2015
  • 9780984213504

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