Thursday, April 16, 2009

Le Jeudi de Josephine: Precious Memoirs!!!


Madame de Rémusat


Today I will share with you the object of my absolute pure, sheer joy and happiness…I have recently received (after much searching) the “Memoirs of the Courts of Europe-Empress Josephine, Volume 1,” by Madame de Rémusat; copyright 1879…!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The book is in very good condition considering it’s over 130 years old. I’m a big (and crazy for) collector of old wonderful books. You can just imagine how I feel when I find one that’s about Josephine.


Who was this Madame de Rémusat? Claire Élisabeth Jeanne Gravier de Vergennes de Rémusat (1780 -1824) was, at her most important position in history, the lady –in-waiting of Empress Josephine Bonaparte. Her father and grandfather were victims of the Revolution; killed just before the fall of Robespierre. Her mom had no choice but to take Claire and her sister to the valley of Montmorency, where they could live a more peaceful life. A young man, Augustin de Remusat, followed them as well. Augustin then married Claire when she turned sixteen.


Amongst her neighbors, lived Josephine; then known as Madame de Beauharnais. The families became very close and so it was natural for Claire to follow Josephine as her lady-in-waiting when Josephine left for Paris to assume her Royal position. Augustin was made Prefect of the Palace in 1802.


Madame de Rémusat was extremely loyal to Josephine and completely on her side on every issue. She stayed with Josephine even after her downfall, and followed her right up to her retirement. That is when Madame de Rémusat decided to write about all the historic people she encountered and of the days of the Royal court. She said she was inspired to write by her ‘love of truth’, and that this is what these memoirs are all about…


Initially, she had attempted to write the memoirs in 1815, but for fear of compromising her family due to the obvious residual consequences of history and the fact that Napoleon had been exiled, Madame de Rémusat decided to burn these. She resumed her writing ‘afresh’ in 1818. This present manuscript, which was left unfinished due to her death in 1821, was only published sixty years later by her grandson, Paul de Rémusat. So now…


…Here I am with a copy of this book printed back in 1879!!!!!!! Can you just imagine the thrill of me having this book in my possession? I can’t wait to share interesting details that I read with you! Besides the obvious review that I will give it, you can be sure that I will be posting all that I find fascinating and new to me in this precious book.


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14 comments:

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

How super cool is that?! I'm so excited for you and am eagerly awaiting all the tidbits you'll be sharing with us! Congrats on getting your hands on a copy!

Cynthia said...

What a find, Ms Lucy! I look forward to your next posts. It's like holding history in your hands. <3

Matterhorn said...

Congratulations, Lucy!! I can imagine what a joy that is...

Ingrid Mida said...

What a thrill. However did you find such a treasure? I look forward to your upcoming posts.

Viola said...

I love old books too, Ms.Lucy. This one looks wonderful. We're all interested to know how you found it!

Paris Atelier said...

Oh my! What a find Ms. Lucy, such a treasure. I am so glad the book has found a home with somebody who values and appreciates it for all of its worth! I love this post and the story, I can't wait to hear more! How exciting to crack that book open!
xoxo
Judith~

Arleigh said...

What a great find Lucy! Perfect for you!

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I am THRILLED for you and look forward to hearing more about it. Too funny about the connection! Have a terrific Greek Easter. I am in the midst of getting ready to make Greek cookies tomorrow, etc. etc. I love Greek food - both cooking it and eating it.
Enjoy it your holiday!
Catherine

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I didn't mean to write 'Enjoy 'it' your holiday! LOL.
Catherine

sallymandy said...

Wow, Ms Lu! I'm thrilled for you. So many wonderful things in one--an antique book, a subject you love, and written by someone who was really there. Please keep us posted. I'm looking forward to it.

Ms. Lucy said...

Hi Everyone! I'm so sorry I didn't answer each of you separately to thank you for the wonderful comments- my life has been incredibly busy this past week. Thank you for being so happy for me and for sharing in this passion of mine. I will keep you all posted. Thank you so much for your friendship. I'm so blessed!

Anonymous said...

Lucky for me, I don't have to imagine how thrilled you are, because i can see it every time you glance over at your enormous collection of wonderful books :) Do keep me posted as well, mommy <3

gerry said...

As I think I have mentionned earlier, I'm a collector of books (old and new). However, none of my holdings can compare to your above book. May I ask and maybe I have missed this on your blog, but how were you able to be so lucky as to obtain this volume? Thanks a lot and look forward to hearing from you.

Ms. Lucy said...

Hi gerry:) I've made quite a few contacts over the years and when something comes up- someone contacts me...just like with this one. Actually, seems like the network has really branched out. Many of these precious finds also come from the used bookstores around here. It's a matter of always being on the 'lookout'. I guess I'm just obsessed- but also really lucky:) Thanks for your comment!