Talk:Empress Joséphine

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Is the rose garden she built in the mansion really worth a mention in the intro. Is the rose garden planted in the white house by JFK mentioned in his intro. not only is it unsourced but it seems POV Magnificent etc.. I can see the need for a section further down (which i personally think should be trimmed as it's longer than the empress of the french section but i'm not going to touch it). any comments on this before i edit would be apprecieated — Preceding unsigned comment added by Awnman (talkcontribs) 23:03, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Possible move[edit]

per Wiki naming convention of listing monarch's wives under their birth/maiden names; Beauharnais was the surname of her first husband Mowens35 14:38, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I disagree: practically no one knows here by that name. She became a public figure as Joséphine de Beauharnais. She is almost always known either by that name or as the Empress Joséphine. -- Jmabel | Talk 06:23, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)
Wiki convention says otherwise; most royal consorts were more famously known by the titles of the man/woman they married but Wiki convention is clear re article titles being by maiden name. Mowens35 10:25, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Princesses do not have a maiden name like secretaries. They are invariably known by the name of their House. Princess Caroline of Monaco is invariably known thus, not as Miss Grimaldi or Mrs Hannover. Josephine ought really to be known as Josephine de Beauharnais. But see my comment below. Tantris 21:02, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
  • But none of these naming rules are rigid. Typically, queens consort go directly from their maiden name to their title as queen consort. Joséphine was already well-known under her first married name. This should follow the same convention as for any other woman who is known mainly by one particular married name. We don't go revert them to their maiden names. -- Jmabel | Talk 16:00, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)
if the naming rules were more rigid, there would be less arguing and more attention paid to consistency. Mowens35 23:31, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)
...and more articles that were in places no reasonable person would ever think to look for them. -- Jmabel | Talk 04:47, Apr 28, 2005 (UTC)
So who precisely would know to look for Josephine de Beauharnais? Tantris 21:02, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

I am somewhat against the heading Josephine Tascher de La Pagerie. Actually, the naming convention is not straightforwardly "maiden name" but "pre-marital name". Of course it is fiddling to say that her marriage to Napoleon was the only one that mattered and thus "pre-marital" was her first husband's name (sic!), but...
I am ready to make a better exception re this person, and allow her the heading Empress Josephine. (If we are to make exceptions, why not then select the best one of them.) 2 July 2005 09:08 (UTC)

  • NOBODY knows Josephine as anything other than Josephine, and nobody will know to look for Joséphine de Beauharnais, especially not with that silly accent. This is an English-language encyclopedia, and so both Napoleon and Josephine lose the accent their names sport in French.

This article should be under Josephine (Empress).

Tantris 20:40, 17 December 2006 (UTC)


Why did you call repeating her file name as Wikifying?

For what it's worth, the uncommented anon removal of the reference to Stéphanie de Beauharnais as Joséphine's daughter appears to be correct. See [1] (in German). -- Jmabel 06:28, Sep 12, 2004 (UTC)


Olivier, thanks for the recent additions; could you indicate your sources? -- Jmabel 18:44, Sep 30, 2004 (UTC)

Monaco and egon von Furstenberg[edit]

Question to Mowens35: On what do you base your claim that empress Josephine is ancestress of current house of Monaco and of Egon von F. ???
I have seen much of your imaginary ideas to deluge truthful information here in Wikipedia - apparently motivated by so-called royal-romantics and sycophancy instead of factual correctness. 2 July 2005 09:17 (UTC)

I base my information on published materials, which I strenuously work to cite. If, however, that information later deemed incorrect, I delete it. 'Nuff said.Mowens35 15:20, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
The current Monagasque Royal house, and the Furstenbergs descend from Josephine's cousin Stephanie de Beauharnais (thtrough her grand-daughter Mary Victoria Hamilton), but not Josephine. Indisciplined (talk) 00:01, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Soapy sentimentality[edit]

Wow, this sort of soppy soap-operatic stuff seriously needs to be sourced or purged, probably the latter:

This could be due either to the fact that he lost them, or that she did not write very many. Whatever the case, his words were undoubtedly more full of passion. Joséphine, less in love than Napoleon, actually began an affair with high society playboy Hippolyte Charles in 1796. This so infuriated and hurt Napoleon that his deep, loyal love changed entirely.

--Saforrest 01:57, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Just wait until I add the translation of a letter from Napoleon to Josephine about his wanting to "be inside you"!!! That one's quoted in Evangeline Bruce's book "The Improbable Marriage", which has the most amazing translations of his lusty letters to J. Mowens35 15:23, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Slave plantation??[edit]

rather POV, no? surely it was a plantation for a specific economic purpose (sugar, etc) which was cultivated by slaves, which is different than a "slave plantation" Mowens35 16:35, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Sugar cane, I believe (though I'm not sure) but what became politically relevant was slaves, rather than a particular crop: Joséphine was firmly on the side of the planter aristocracy in terms of the slave rebellion in what became Haiti. - Jmabel | Talk 19:36, 1 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes but Wiki is not to judge actions of the past through today's prism. It is enough to state the information as carefully as possible, hence "a sugar plantation worked by slaves" as opposed to a "slave plantation", which is not only factually incorrect but also redundant.Mowens35 15:21, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
That wording is fine with me, but this is not a matter of "today's prism". The question of slavery in the French Caribbean was a very lively issue during the years of the Revolution. The question of sugar? Not. - Jmabel | Talk 02:22, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
However, with subsequent changes this has gone too far the other way. There is now no mention of her coming from a slaveowning family. Again, in the context of Revolutionary France this was no small matter. - Jmabel | Talk 04:20, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
We seem to be back to what was agreed upon. - Jmabel | Talk 02:00, 25 September 2006 (UTC)


[2]: uncommented removal of claim that she is ancestor of the royal house of Monaco (by an editor who is clearly not a vandal). Was it false? Or what? - Jmabel | Talk 00:00, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

I see. It was removed by the same person who added it, and someone had raised doubts on the talk page. Hey, folks, when you do stuff like this, could you please use edit summaries? - Jmabel | Talk 00:02, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Would people please cite?[edit]

"first cousin once removed of Mahmud II, 27th Sultan of Turkey". Maybe. I have no idea. But presumably, if it's true, you didn't just happen to know it. Please provide a citation for this sort of thing. - Jmabel | Talk 02:24, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Now removed. - Jmabel | Talk 19:10, 9 September 2006 (UTC)
I removed it a couple of days ago, after reading a scholarly history of Josephine's first cousin, Aimée du Buc de Rivery, who is written of frequently as the mother of Mahmud II. Recent scholarly investigation has determined, beyond any doubt, that though she was a member of the Turkish royal harem, she was not Mahmud's mother.Mowens35 22:04, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Odd removal[edit]

The anonymous "copy edit" recently was far more than that. I've restored a couple of things. Others may want to check.

I'm particularly surprised by the removal of the following: is there a factual problem with it? "The divorce took place on January 10, 1810, and was a grand but solemn ceremony for both lovers. It was the first under the Napoleonic Code." Other than the dubious phrase "for both lovers", this seems to me to be entirely relevant, if true. Is it not true? - Jmabel | Talk 05:41, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


In this article it is suggested that Josephine only had one affair during her marriage to Napoleon, but in the Napoleon article it is stated that both were known to have had many. Which is it?

According to numerous books, she had more than one affair during her marriage to Napoleon, particularly in the early years of their marriage.Mowens35 23:23, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I think it's been pretty much established that she was not very faithful to him early on. She seems to have become committed to him later in the marriage, though. Funnyhat 19:36, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Josephine's Title[edit]

Absurdly, Josephine, Marie Louise and Eugenie were included in the list of "Queen Consorts of France" (what in correct grammar ought to be called Queens-Consort, by-the-by...)

All three bore the title of Empress of the French and none was ever Queen of France, consort or otherwise. I have accordingly removed them from the list.

Tantris 20:40, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

"Natural" daughter?[edit]

The article makes a passing reference to Josephine's "natural" daughter. Generally this term is used in this way as a euphemism for "illegitimate", but there's no mention of such a child in the article and it seems staggeringly unlikely to me that she would have one. If it refers to Hortense de Beauharnais, then the term is used incorrectly. --Jfruh (talk) 00:36, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

I once read in a bio on Josephine that a girl from Martinique came to France and was put under Josephine's protection.Author opines that she could have been the natural daughter of Josephine from an affair she had with a Scots captain while she visited Martinique with her children.Author also speculates that this final pregnancy could have rendered her incapable of having more children due to complications during childbirth.At any rate,a mysterious Scotsman did attend her funeral.jeanne (talk) 07:02, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I think this passage has been erased. At least I can’t find it anywhere.

2009-03-10 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

david painting mis-captioned[edit]

the david painting of the coronation of napoleon does not show him coronating josephine. rather, it depicts him coronating *himself* as the catholic clergy looks on. napoleon did so to show the sovereignty and authority of the french state -- above that of the vatican. but a more simple proof can be offered: josephine is already wearing a crown in the painting. i am changing the caption accordingly.

The coronation painting is of napoleon crowning josephine, not of him crowning himself. The fact that josehine is already wearing a crown does not mean that napoleon is crowning himself. After all, napoleon's mother is in the full painting, yet she wasn't actually at the ceremony. -roxie11 =Great-grandfather=I have read in many bios that her maternal great-grandfather George Browne was Irish; yet in the article he is listed as English.Could he possibly have been Anglo-Irish?jeanne (talk) 15:30, 6 April 2008 (UTC)


The famous last words of Napoléon I where made up by Charles Tristan de Montholon. He has turned out to be a frequent liar. Napoléon died at about the time of sunset after being unconscious for at least 14 hours. At the time the famous last words was said to have been uttered no-one else could hear any words. They heard a sound coming from his moth but it was more like a music instrument than a human voice. Today it is thought to have been due to gases from an over-pressurised stomach escaping though his throat. Consequentially, there was no intention behind it. Most likely the last thing he said before he died was:

“Give me my chamber-pot.”

It may not have been very polite but that was what he said. His last words must have been uttered I French since all the three or four men who nursed him where French-spoken. They where his favourite personal servant Louis Joseph Marchand, Charles Tristan de Montholon and Henri Gratien Bertrand. The possible forth person was Étienne “Ali” Saint-Dennis who was also a personal servant. Napoléon had a third personal servant named Jean Abram Noverraz. During the last six weeks he could not nurse Napoléon since he was ill himself. He barely recovered enough in time to bid farewell to his dying ruler. By then Napoléon was already unconscious.

2008-05-23 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:39, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Here we go again. The relentless witch from Märsta, Sweden desecrating yet once more the great Napoléon. Her comments and totally negative influence on all of the Wiki pages dealing with Napoléon is an unbearable plague. Self-proclaimed expert, she makes historically fallacious claims solely motivated by some inexplicably vapid rancor towards the Bonaparte family. Having read a couple of vulgarization books recommended by Oprah's Club is vastly insufficient to claim expertise. Your deeds are those of an aging homely wretch, afraid of the crowds, confined to an unsanitary loghouse lost remotely in the cold nordic deserts of an ever so sad country. Enough with you already, Miss Synnerholm. Go plague another site. Your obdurate, opinionated, and crooked claims sully the memory of the Emperor of the French in the most unwelcome way. Be sure to keep your ugly nose inside your room this winter. Weasel trappers may be lurking in your area. Greetings to the royal family of whom you remain a subject, and whom benefited largely from Napoléon's grandeur. The Bernadottes were no more than empty-handed peasants covered in louse when Napoléon ordered them out of France, after having offered them a few acres of ice and snow in a distant glacial land called Suède. Do not forget who gave you your kings. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:14, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

You hurt me! Do you hate me? To me it is your comments which appears fallacious and hateful or at least contemptuous. These are my counter-arguments to your claims:

1. Although my inlays are sometimes aggressive most of them are characterised by ether honest seek after truth or thoughtful debunking.

2. I have not commented all Wikipedia’s articles dealing with Napoléon I or closely associated concepts, just a great deal of them.

3. I often sound very sure about the subject I write on. Yet I have never claimed to be an expert and have even pointed this out several times. I am just an ordinary sceptic with enough knowledge to understand and use the argument of real experts. Please note that I can admit error if I am corrected by experts or other people with good enough arguments.

4. I do not hate the Bonaparte family. I don’t like Napoléon I because I consider him a military dictator. I don’t like his brother Lucien ether because he was a political extremist. For Charles Louis Napoléon I have mixed emotions. Fore some of the Bonapartes I have no particular emotions. Others I feel more or less sympathy with. The Bonaparte I consider most sympathetic was Charles Joseph. My real motives are a reluctant fascination of Napoléon I Bonaparte, curiosity and the entertainment I get from debunking (both reading and writing). Anyway, my emotions for certain persons do not prevent me from telling the truth as far as I know it.

5. I don’t know about any “Oprah's Club”. I have no contact with any such organisation.

6. I am 26 years old and do not seem much older. Some people have even mistaken me for younger than I am!

7. I am not afraid of crowds. Most leikely, I have even smaller personal space than most Swedes.

8. I live in a 33 square metre apartment with linoleum floor, drainage and water supply.

9. The area where I live is nor a frozen desert nor a tundra but a quite densely populated agricultural area. Märsta I situated between the cities of Stockholm and Uppsala. If you read about the climate of Sweden you will find that it is temperate except the mountains in the north-west which has an Alpine climate.

10. In Sweden we don’t trap Mustelids in the wild: we breed them in captivity. However, this is controversial due to the conditions under which the animals are kept.

11. The earliest members of Bernadotte family I know about belonged to the bourgeoisie. If you read about Jean Baptiste Bernadotte you will find that his father Henri was a lawyer. Jean joined the French army in 1780 when Napoleone Buonaparte was just an eleven-year-old child. At the time of Napoléon’s coup d'état Jean was already a high ranking officer if not a general. It was the Swedish nobleman Carl Otto Mörner who came up with the idea of finding a new crown prince in the upper classes of France. If you had been an expert you would had known that making Jean crown prince of Sweden was not Napoléon’s idea.

12. Napoléon I never banished the Bernadottes from France. Jean Baptiste arrived to Sweden in 1810 adding “Charles” to his name. His wife and son arrived the following year. However, Desirée returned to France after a few months and did not move to Sweden permanently until 1823. This was eight years after the final defeat of Napoléon and two year after his death!

You may choose to believe me or not. But if you think I am intentionally lying please remember that you have absolutely no evidence of such asserts. I am no longer so sure about Napoléon’s last words but they might well have been the ones I mentioned. However, I am still convinced that those famous last words where made up by Charles Tristan de Montholon. According to Sten Forshufvud Charles’ eyewitness account of Napoléon’s existence on Saint Helena differs radically form those of the others. Several times Charles made claims that Sten – as a professional physician – recognised as medically impossible. Charles also made other assertions which have been disproved by ether professional or amateur historians. He claimed that he spent Maximilien de Robespierre’s Reign of Terror in Ajaccio where he come to know the Buonaparte family. He said that Napoléon had taught him Mathematics and Lucien Latin. The problem is that Maria Letizia Buonaparte moved to mainland France in 1785 with those of her children which still lived with her. To my knowledge both Napoléon and Lucien was nowhere near Ajaccio during the Reign of Terror. Hopefully you can found out where the two brothers where in 1793-94 by reading Wikipedia’s articles on Napoléon and Lucien Bonaparte. Charles also boasted about the many grievous wounds he had got in battle. Yet there are no other contemporary eyewitness accounts of such wounds. Worse, people which saw him naked have witnessed that he had almost no scars on his body. (I assume that those where ether persons he had sex with or servants waiting up to him when he took a bath.) Sten once wrote that Charles lied compulsorily. This may or may not be true but I am open to the possibility that Charles was a mythomaniac.

That Napoléon was unconscious when he died is a well known fact amongst experts in the field. The idea of him being so for at least 14 hours is based on a quote by Henri Gratien Bertrand translated to English by Sten Forshufvud. At four a clock in the morning on the fifth of May 1821 Henri noted on Napoléon’s condition: “He is no more than a corpse”. Henri has also witnessed that the physician Francesco Antommarchi was with him and Napoléon the night between forth and the fifth. However, Francesco did not pronounce Napoléon dead until roughly ten to six the following evening. As such I drew the conclusion that Henri’s comment on Napoléon’s condition was metaphorically meant and that he was just unconscious. Jean Abram Noverraz was not listed by Henri as one of the people which was with Napoléon the last night before he died. Yet he appears to have been present at the deathbed at the time of his death. Napoléon’s last two days in life is described in chapter 44 of “Assassination at St Helena” by Sten (physician and amateur historian) and Ben Weider (professional historian). The eyewitness account of Henri is outlined on pages 411-412 in Mitchell Press Limited’s 1978 edition. Ben sent me a copy of this book in December 2007 after we had had a lengthy correspondence about the cause of Napoléon’s death. The only message he got from me after that was a letter of thanks for the book in which I wrote what I thought about it: a bit outdated but mostly reliable. If you can’t answer me with arguments based on facts and without ad hominem attacks please leave this discussion or we will never get anywhere.

2009-01-21 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Countess of Navarre[edit]

The article claims that Empress Joséphine was given the title Countess of Navarre after the annulment of her marriage. Can someone verify this claim? Surtsicna (talk) 15:19, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Irish great-grandfather?[edit]

Was her maternal great-grandfather Anthony Brown actually English, as the article states, or Irish as many of her biographers have asserted?--jeanne (talk) 11:11, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
I've also read that Anthony Brown (also spelled Browne) was born to Irish parents from Galway. Since no one has found evidence that he was indeed English and not Irish as stated everywhere else, I will change it. According to this source (fr), his parents could be George Browne, (4th) baronet of Caversham, and Gertrude Morley, however it was never proven.--EDT95 (talk) 22:28, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Cause of death[edit]

Is not the pneumonia diagnosis outdated? I think she died from sub-letal arsenic poisoning but I don’t have any good source to it.

2009-03-10 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:11, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

It has always been believed that she died from pneumonia which developed from an earlier cold which she had caught while walking in the gardens at Malmaison with her guest Tsar Alexander I of Russia. She was wearing a thin, low-cut dress without her shawl, thus caught a chill.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 14:30, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Is not the pneumonia diagnosis outdated? While we're at it, let's remake History & have every king, queen, emperor & empress of France... AND their little dogs die of arsenic poisoning !!! Frania W. (talk) 14:44, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Frania, you forgot US president Zachary Taylor!! They exhumed his body to see if he died of arsenic poison as rumours had begun to circulate which said that Old Rough and Ready also was one of the myriad historical victims of arsenicum. Needless to say, they discovered the rumours were false!!!--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 14:58, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
One should always look at/to whom the crime profits. Could it be that Zachary Taylor was wearing a low-cut dress while walking through the White House rose garden with Millard Fillmore, his vice president who succeeded him? Oh, I forgot, the WH rose garden was created more than a century later by Mme Jacqueline Kennedy... too late for Zachary Taylor - yet, very suspicious ! Frania W. (talk) 15:49, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

No, I am NOT speculating! What someone has died from have to be determined individually in each and every case! In the particular case of Joséphine I wonder what empirical evidence says to present-day physicians. If a physican of today reads the contemporary description of her symptoms and the autopsy report would he or she also draw the conclusion that Joséphine died from pneumonia? Or would such descriptions instead lead to the diagnosis of sub-lethal arsenic poisoning? I have not seen enough evidence for either case.

2011-01-05 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden.

Do you have a reliable source which says she died of arsenic poison?--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 07:38, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Dear Lena: You keep on bringing up doubts & your own speculations about the legitimacy, birth, disappearance & cause of death of several historical figures in France-related articles. Since I am extremely interested in the story of our national heroine Jeanne d'Arc, would you mind giving your thoughts as to who she really was, because there is great historical investigation to do into her case[3].
--Frania W. (talk) 14:39, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, we know Jeanne didn't die of arsenic poisoning!--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 15:40, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, can you source it? We know the official story but that could also be a legend...
--Frania W. (talk) 17:06, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Or perhaps Jeanne's imposter was burned at the stake and the real Jeanne escaped to Ireland.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 17:49, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
Jeanne, do you really call someone who is burned at the stake in place of someone else an "imposter"? I would call the execution a double wrongful punishment as that poor woman would have been "wrongfully executed" in place of one "wrongfully accused".
--Frania W. (talk) 23:09, 6 January 2011 (UTC)
The English quickly realised their mistake in burning Jeanne. To me, the Burgundians were the real culprits as they had turned her over to the English in the first place. A tragic episode in history.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 07:43, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

Speculation on cause of sterility?[edit]

We don't know why Joséphine could not have any child with Napoléon. But could falling from a balcony really cause the onset of menopause in a 35-year-old woman? I don't understand how.

2009-03-11 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:29, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you, that the idea of a fall triggering menopause is ludicrous. There were , however, rumours that Josephine had an affair with a Scots captain, while in Martinique visiting her family, and this resulted in the birth of a daughter. This last birth was said to have rendered her sterile. Indeed a girl did arrive in Paris from Martinique many years later, on whom Josephine lavished much affection and money. Who knows? Frania, any opinions on this mysterious girl?--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 14:31, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
As usual, the Anglos make more of a fromage (= big deal) of Joséphine's *sterility* than the Frenchies do. First point, let's clarify something: since she had had two children, she was not sterile, she had only reached a stage in her life when, for whatever reason, she could not bear children anymore. Second point, one has to look at the period in which she lived when it was common for women to die in childbirth, and when having one or several miscarriages could cause a woman to become infertile. Add to those the type of life Joséphine led: after her separation from her first husband, she had quite a few lovers, supposedly/probably a few miscarriages (from which, at the time, few women escaped with their life and, when they did, were left estropiées à vie), then her life in Paris during the French Revolution with her imprisonment at the time of Terror, when she came to a hair of having her head removed on the échafaud... followed by a life of a rather promiscuous woman... quite a few reasonable causes for becoming infertile. My personal opinion on the cause of her inability of giving an heir to Napoléon was a miscarriage. And that is MY personal opinion. Frania W. (talk) 17:57, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
She could have become infertile as a result of an infection of the fallopian tubes, which to this day can cause infertility in a woman if it goes untreated. This is possible since she was a trifle promiscuous after her separation from Alexandre.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 18:18, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Whatever the reason, almost two hundred years after her death, it is difficult to say what the causes were. And does it matter anymore? She was a lovely woman & can be dearly remembered, if for no other reason than her love of roses & the garden she created at La Malmaison. Frania W. (talk) 20:32, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree. It must be noted that the King of Sweden is Joséphine's direct descendant through her son Eugéne. She has many descendants through Horténse as well.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 06:00, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

I knew that Joséphine had two children – Eugène and Hortense – with her first husband. I am also aware that the present-day king of Sweden is a seventh generation descendant of her. When I wrote “sterility” I meant her later inability to have any child with her second husband Napoléon. This might well have been due to infection. Lose people are more likely to cache sexually transmitted diseases. There is in fact a sexually transmitted bacterium (Chlamydia trachomatis) which can make a woman sterile without giving any symptoms. Anyway, this is just a probable explanation since we very likely will never know.

2009-04-03 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:54, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

Whatever the reason was (two hundred years ago) that kept Joséphine from bearing an heir to monsieur Napoléon l'empereur des Français, is not for us to try to guess. The reason could be this or it could be that. Like for many women who lived traumatic events & went thru the horror of almost losing their head during the French Revolution, other reasons beside STDs could have caused her inability to bear any more children. And now that the woman has been dead for almost two hundred years, let's leave her soul in peace. Frania W. (talk) 20:04, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Frania; besides this is not the page to discuss STDs such as Chlamydia nor to pass moral judgements on deceased people's sexual conduct. Joséphine has many royal descendants alive today, the fact that she had no children by Napoleon is not really relevant to her place in French history.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 06:39, 4 April 2009 (UTC)


This title is stupid. The Bonapartes were not an ancient royal dynasty where normal royal naming rules work. They were just a minor Corsican noble family, and surnames for them should be treated like surnames for anybody else. This article should be at Joséphine Bonaparte, in the same way that we have, say [[Dolley Madison] rather than Dolley Todd. john k (talk) 14:20, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Stupidly or not, she is commonly called Joséphine de Beauharnais, isn't she? A woman, like all other biographical entrants, should be referred to by her most common name, and that would not necessarily involve using her husband's surname. Surtsicna (talk) 14:49, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and her most common name is Josephine Bonaparte. john k (talk) 19:34, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Not to mention that, of course, her article is currently at her (first) husband's surname. Her maiden name ("Tascher de la Pagerie") is certainly not her most common name. john k (talk) 19:35, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Surtsicna. She is known to history as Josephine de Beauharnais, never Bonaparte.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 22:22, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Pish-posh, the article also says she "adopted" the name "Joséphine" at Napoleon's request. Shows what they know- Sadsaque (talk) 04:25, 5 August 2016 (UTC)


A portrait of Josèphine with a low degree of beautification is here. At the very least she could have looked like this since every single trait can be found among people alive today. The painting is too old to have any copyright. If it originally had any it has long expired by now.

2010-12-29 Lena Synnerholm, Märsta, Sweden. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:23, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I have seen this portrait before. If you wish to add it to the article, go ahead. Due to its age, the work is in the Public Domain.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 07:58, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Josephine's Rose Garden[edit]

No mention of the famous rose garden Josephine built at Malmaison? Is there a reason it's not included here? If not may I add a section? For some of us, this is what she's known for - her rose garden. Oh by the way she was married to that guy Napoleon also, which allowed her to get roses from all over the world when no one else could. Dog Walking Girl (talk) 06:11, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes you may add it, providing you source it. I'm surprised it's not already been included as her rose garden has been given prominence by all her biographers. I think the article has already established she was married to "that guy Napoleon" (Oh, how he'd have loved this lèse- majesté)!--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 08:59, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
it is (poorly) mentioned here Rose garden. The 250 rose plants were not all "garden" roses, but also wild roses from the northern hemisphere (where roses naturally grow).
--Frania W. (talk) 13:12, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

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During a recent visit to Martinique we learned that slavery was abolished in the French colonies in 1787 during the French Revolution. However Napoleon, supposedly at the urging of Josephine, reinstated slavery until 1848 when it was finally abolished for good. Josephine is therefore despised in Martinique and her statue in the park in Fort-de-France was decapitated, and remains headless to this day. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Requested move 24 September 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved DrStrauss talk 13:44, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Joséphine de BeauharnaisEmpress Joséphine – On this talk page there have been doubts expressed about whether this article is at the right title. I am aware that she is sometimes known by this name, but it does seem odd that her article is not at either her maiden name, or her name from her better known marriage "Josephine Bonaparte". There is no consistent naming convention for royal or imperial consorts, see WP:NCROY, we should just go for her common and most recognisable name, "Empress Joséphine". PatGallacher (talk) 17:32, 24 September 2017 (UTC)

  • Support - seems reasonable, and it's OK to sometimes include the title, per Queen Victoria etc.  — Amakuru (talk) 18:38, 4 October 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.