“Since I left you, I have been constantly depressed. My happiness is to be near you. Incessantly I live over in my memory your caresses, your tears, your affectionate solicitude. The charms of the incomparable Josephine kindle continually a burning and a glowing flame in my heart. When, free from all solicitude, all harassing care, shall I be able to pass all my time with you, having only to love you, and to think only of the happiness of so saying, and of proving it to you?”
Today, in 1763, Joséphine de Beauharnais was born in Les Trois-Îlets, Martinique, far away from the charismatic man who would make her an Empress. Napoléon Bonaparte’s love for his Joséphine has been immortalized in his writings and in the numerous biographies written over the centuries. Love is never simple; but with Napoléon and Joséphine it reached a pinnacle of complexity that astonished the people of France and kept neighbouring nations engaged in political speculation. Even now, we are fascinated by one of the greatest love stories every told.
“As for me, to love you alone, to make you happy, to do nothing which would contradict your wishes, this is my destiny and the meaning of my life.”