The final chapter in the story of the last Napoleon is still being written as the French belatedly seek from Britain the return of his mortal remains. To gain a vivid picture of his tumultuous life and times, you can do no better than read this enthralling book.
From boudoir to battlefield, searing passion pulsates through the pages of this family saga. Set against the political turmoil and appalling bloodshed of 19th century Europe, "Leonie" is doubly compelling for being based on the real lives of "ordinary" characters swept along by extraordinary events.
With refreshing directness and pace, Tony Boullemier charts the erratic fortunes of his eponymous forbear - as a young beauty, catching the emperor's predatory eye, as a member of the hated bourgeoisie, fleeing the murderous mob.
The reader is time-warped back to the age of do-or-die cavalrymen and crinolined courtesans, sexual scandal and international intrigue. A well-researched epic peppered with offbeat historical facts, the tale romps along at exhilarating speed. The pages almost turn themselves . . . Geoff Compton.
by Geoff Compton