JOSEPHINE DE BEAUHARNAIS, NAPOLEON'S IRRESISTIBLE ASSET
An episode from the series SECRETS OF HISTORY - PORTRAITS
Josephine de Beauharnais, Napoleon's first wife, was crowned empress at 41, then repudiated because she was barren.
Born in 1763 into a rich family from the West Indies, Marie-Josèphe-Rose de Tascher de La Pagerie married Viscount Alexandre de Beauharnais at the age of 16. This mismatched union gave birth to 2 children, Eugene and Hortense. In 1794, the couple was jailed during the Revolution. While Alexandre was guillotined, Rose was saved by the fall of Robespierre.
Her great beauty and attire opened her the doors of high society salons, and in 1796, she married Napoleon Bonaparte who fell for her charm, wit and smart.