"A Rose for Virtue: The very private life of Hortense step-daughter of Napoleon I, mother of Napoleon III" by Norah Lofts - Corononet Books Hodder Paperbacks ltd., London.
The post-Revolution years saw France in a state of flux, with thè balance of power shifting back to thè bourgeoisie.
No-one's rise to power was more meteoric than that of Napoleon Bonaparte, a successful young generai when we first meet him here. Hortense Beauharnais suddenly finds herself rubbing shoulders with royalty as her mother remarries to become Bonaparte's wife. As Napoleon struggles for power on thè battlefields of Europe, so Hortense charts her way through thè French court - a chessboard world where thè motives are jealousy and greed and thè prizes are thrones of conquered countries.