As you know we like to highlight the history in historical romance. Today we have a gem from Cerise DeLand.
Pauline Bonaparte’s Missing Jewels, Money…and Cerise DeLand’s heroine’s search for lost treasures!
As Napoleon Bonaparte signed his abdication in Fontainebleau in April 1814, his much beloved young sister Pauline had been very busy. Not only did she arrange to sell her house, the Hotel Charost in Paris, to the British government for their new ambassador to France, the Duke of Wellington, but also she attempted to remove from her home twenty-five paintings that she especially loved.
She charged one of her friends with the task of wrapping them up and sending them off, hopefully before Wellington arrived in the city and knocked on her door. The paintings arrived in Rome–and Pauline called herself satisfied with the salvage and with her payment for the house.
What she did with that money totaling 863,000 pounds was to save it and promise it to none other than her brother. The purpose? To fund his re-establishment on the imperial throne of France. Less than nine months later, Napoleon escaped Elba, marched from the southern coast to Paris and rallied the citizens of France to oust the ineffective Bourbon King Louis XVIII. The funds to summon his army and put them on the battlefields near Waterloo came from Pauline.
Although Napoleon failed to secure his crown again, Pauline had lost more than her money. She had given her brother an enormous diamond necklace and other jewels which her husband Camillo Borghese had given her. At Waterloo, in his coach, Napoleon had hidden her necklace and gold coins. Although the coach was captured and even put on display in London, no jewels or coins were ever found. They remain missing today.
In my new Regency MASQUERADE WITH A MARQUESS, Sophia di Contini searches for her own lost treasures. While she claims that Pauline took from her family two paintings by the artist Fragonard, I have no knowledge that Pauline took such items from an Italian family. Fragonard did live in Italy and did live with his Italian patrons for many years. Pauline did “acquire” much art, just as her brother did, and “remove” it for “safe keeping” to her own homes. But in my novel, Pauline took more than art and lost more than her jewels—and I do hope you read MASQUERADE to learn precisely what that was!
Sophia di Contini risks her life to sail to England alone and slip into the homes of those she suspects stole priceless treasures from her family during the wars. Discovered by Victor Cameron, she agrees to search for her art his way even though she’ll live in his house, yearn for his touch, pine for his kisses….
Five years ago, Victor had to give up Sophia. Now he vows to keep her near him and to protect her from men who would destroy her. He’ll help her find her precious art even if he risks the chance she’ll steal his heart away…again.
MASQUERADE WITH A MARQUESS, Regency Romp #3
Cerise DeLand loves to cook, hates to dust, lives to travel–and write! A #1 bestselling Regency author, Cerise adores a romance set in days of yore with plenty of fact to complement the spicy fiction.