“Baroque Explorations” is a blog about my research into past life, research that goes into writing my novels. For my blog on the adventures of my writing life, click here. For either blog, if you subscribe—see lower left—you will be sent new posts. Ipromise that your inbox will not be flooded.
Quote of the moment: “The future is the past, returning through another gate.” — from a poem by Victoria Chang
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.
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...read more
Hortense was an exceptionally creative person. At Madame Campan's Institute she was fortunate to have Isabey for an art instructor and Jadin for music. Hortense painted and composed songs throughout her life, but she is most known for the song "Partant pour la Syrie,"...read more
I have been doing quite a bit of research into Phantasmagorie for the Young Adult novel I'm writing about Josephine's daughter Hortense. Phantasmagoria was an extremely popular "show" put on for both children and adults in France after the French Revolution, featuring...read more
As I've no doubt mentioned before, I'm a big fan of Renaissance magazine. I devour every issue as soon as it arrives. It's largely intended for devotees of living history, specifically those who participate in Renaissance fairs. That aspect of the publication doesn't...read more
What is the history of April Fools' Day? A reference to April Fools' Day pranks has been found as early as 1539, in a comical poem by Flemish writer Eduard De Dene. Over a century later, in 1686, John Aubrey of England noted "Fooles holy day" observed on April 1st. At...read more
Tracking down facts can be a time-crunching task ... but a very enjoyable one when the goal is in sight. I began with a simple question: Where was Hortense's father executed and buried? I think these were things she might have wanted to know. False leads In the...read more