4 Extra Debut. War reporter, Janine di Giovanni champions the first empress of France, Josephine Bonaparte. With Matthew Parris. From August 2012.
"I get to Milan," wrote Napoleon. "I fling myself into your room. I have left everything in order to see you, to clasp you in my arms .... you were not there." The tale of Napoleon and Josephine is one of history's great love affairs, and while she did not win the battles he fought, she was both present, and perhaps influential, at a great moment in Europe's past. Her own life before then was equally extraordinary - born in Martinique, her first husband was executed and she was in jail too, expecting the madame guillotine at any time.
Reporter Janine di Giovanni champions Josephine with the expert help of her biographer Andrea Stuart, who makes no apology for the methods Josephine employed to ensure her survival and rise. An astonishing life, though presenter Matthew Parris remains unconvinced that she was truly great. The producer is Miles Warde.