90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Passions of Pauline Bonaparte
Pauline Bonaparte at Galleria Borghese, by Dhfeinsmith/Flickr

Pauline Bonaparte at Galleria Borghese, by Dhfeinsmith/Flickr

Pauline Bonaparte, favorite sister of the French emperor, was a terrible role model.

Faithful to her famous brother — but not to her husbands. A legendary beauty who liked bathing in milk — and being carried in a chaise longue. She collected jewels. And fashion. And men.

But La Paolina, as the Italians called her when she married Prince Borghese, was more than a sum of her frivolous parts. Courageous, canny and cunning, she might have had an empire of her own had she been born a century or two later.

This hour, On Point: Pauline Bonaparte, “Venus of Empire.”

You can join the conversation. Did you know that Napoleon Bonaparte had a formidable little sister? What are your questions for biographer Flora Fraser about the Bonaparte clan, the Napoleonic wars, and the art of piecing together a life for the page?

You can join the conversation. What’s your story of friendship through the years? Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Guest:

Joining us from London is Flora Fraser, author of “Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire.” An acclaimed biographer, she is the author of three other books about scandalous women, including “Beloved Emma: the Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton.” She is also the co-founder of the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, named for her grandmother, who wrote about the Duke of Wellington and Queen Victoria.

Read an excerpt from “Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire.”

More links:

Here are reviews by The New York Times (title: “Twisted Sister”) and The Washington Times.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 28, 2014
Kaname Hayashi, a project leader of Humanoid Robots "Pepper," talks with the robot at SoftBank Mobile shop in Tokyo, Friday, June 6, 2014. The cooing, gesturing humanoid on wheels that can decipher emotions has been unveiled in Japan by billionaire Masayoshi Son who says robots should be tender and make people smile. (AP)

Robot love, robot work, “killer robots” – we get the latest on robots moving deeper into life.

Nov 28, 2014
Poet Malcolm London. (Courtesy Malcolm London)

From Chicago, a young, new poet gives voice to one of America’s great cities, and its tough streets. Malcolm London joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Nov 27, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

 
Nov 27, 2014
On Point host Tom Ashbrook raises a toast with a glass of fresh apple cider in the On Point studios. (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

All about hard cider. It’s all over these days. And sweet, fresh apple cider, too. We’ll look at the history and comeback.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Last-Minute Thanksgiving Luxury
Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014

Our three Thanksgiving chefs offer up their best bets for delicious, last-minute holiday helpers, including a crunchy celery salad and maple glazed carrots.

More »
Comment
 
Calling All Interns, Calling All Interns
Monday, Nov 24, 2014

Have you ever thought about interning with On Point Radio? Good news: your time is now!

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Six: What Does A White House Press Correspondent Do?
Friday, Nov 21, 2014

We turn to White House Press Correspondents all the time for news, but we’ve never really wondered how they gather their information. Fortunately, our guest host Jessica Yellin had time to sit down with The Explicast to explain.

More »
1 Comment