While researching The Game of Hope, intrepid traveller and fellow Francophil Ann Coombs sent me photos she took at a special exhibition at Malmaison. This was the one that took my breath away:
It’s a mock-up of the house Josephine rented before she met Napoleon, then on Rue Chantereine. After his victories in Italy, the street was renamed Rue de la Victoire, and Josephine had the house decorated in a military theme, a style she used again years later at Malmaison.
The tented entry is very like the one she added to Malmaison:
I thought Josephine made the tented addition to the house after marrying Napoleon, but according to “The House on the Rue de la Victorie” by Ira Grossman, she did this before she’d even met Napoleon. “She turned the terrace of the house into a veranda under a wooden tent which was hung with cotton draperies and decorated with painted or carved flags and pennants.”
It was especially exciting to see a mock-up of Chantereine because there was so very little known about this house. In writing about Hortense, I had a more accurate sense of the place.
Click here to read more of what I’ve discovered about enchanting Chantereine.
See also: The House on the Rue de la Victoire.