Napoleon And Josephine

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Napoleon And Josephine

A
young woman by the name of Josephine Rose-Marie Tascher arrived in France from
the tropical island of Martinique in the midst of the greatest political and
social up heaving. With her innate grace and charm she secured herself a
position of prominence that enabled her to capture the affection of Napoleon
Bonaparte an up and coming French artillery officer from Island of Creole (www.geocities.com/Paris/Parc.html).
This was the beginning of one of histories most passionate and extraordinary
love affairs. Napoleon instantly fell in love with Josephine and they married on
March 8, 1776. The marriage of Josephine and the great Napoleon was one of
turbulence, yet Josephine had a great impact on his decisions and his rise to
power and fame. Josephine was a respectable and likable person with a high
social status which aided to Napoleon and his advancements. Emotionally,
Napoleon was affected greatly by Josephine both directly and indirectly.
Josephine's influence on Napoleon's emotions was profound in the way that it
affected his decisions and actions. Also, Josephine was a smart and intelligent
woman whose opinions were of great value to Napoleon and he often took them into
consideration when making extremely important decisions. Socially, Josephine had
a great impact on Napoleon's advancements and his success in many areas of life.
Early on in the marriage Napoleon discovered how useful Josephine could be to
forwarding his position in society and in the military. He often made her his
advocate, taking her along when he went to ask an important favour of someone
(Erickson 132). She would often speak on his behalf because her remarkable
social skills, amiable personality (Cartland 104), and because of her high
social status that she obtained from her first husband1. Remarkably, it was
Josephine who in the winter of 1795 asked that Napoleon be given command of the
Italian army (Erickson 132). Sure enough shortly after her request he obtained
command (Erickson 132). It was also Josephine's aristocratic connections, her
position as a leader of Directory Society, and her distinguished name that
helped to advance Napoleon's social status (Erickson 134). Napoleon once
confided to his secretary that, "She (Josephine) had beneath my side during
my early years when my future was far from assured, she had lent me her
aristocratic status to assist my many ambitions," (Erickson 277). For this
helped the people of France to see "him less as conspicuous foreigner
lacking in a distinguished breeding" (Erickson 134) and more of someone
that they could relate to 2. Josephine often helped her husband in his social
duties as Emperor by entertaining military men and ambassadors (Erickson 242).
She always remembered people's names and had a gift for making people feel
special and welcomed (Erickson 242). Napoleon himself once said "I win
battles but Josephine wins hearts." (Laing 148). Her natural social skills
were a great asset to his rise and popularity. At first it was Josephine's
social status that helped Napoleon but later on it was her good spirited nature
and her likable personality that helped to create a better image of Napoleon
therefore helping him in his advancements. Josephine had a major influence on
Napoleon emotionally, directly and indirectly by making him feel secure,
providing him with emotional support, and giving him confidence which ultimately
had a bearing on his decisions and actions. Sadly before Napoleon had met
Josephine he was on the verge of suicide he was lonely and depressed (Laing
128). Fortunately "Josephine had transformed life for him, given him
meaning to ambition, and crowned his success with pleasure," (Laing 128).
Mlle Avrillon, one of Josephine maids, even saw his dependence on her and her
swift response to his needs, "whenever he suffered the slightest
indisposition, when any problem aroused to worry him, she was, so to speak, at
his feet, and at such times he could not get along without her," (Erickson
132) This demonstrates how much her emotional support helped Napoleon and how he
relied on it to continue his aspirations (Erickson 132). Napoleon was convinced
that his good fortune in battle, politics, and all the important areas of life
was linked to his finding and falling in love with Josephine. She was his charm
and "his talisman"2 (Erickson 253). From the time they met he had
nothing but opportunities and success (Erickson 253). "He was convinced
that I brought him luck, and nothing would induce him to start on a campaign
without previously kissing me," Josephine once admitted of Napoleon (Laing
101). Therefore, even without her being present on the battle field, or even in
the same