Category Archives: WOMEN’S HISTORY
The love of Bonaparte’s life was an enchanting Creole – the term then used for all white West indians – with a shady past. Born in 1763 to a minor aristocrat and sugar planter on Martinique, Marie-Joséphe-Rose Tascher de la Pagerie had arrived in France at the age of seventeen to enter an arranged marriage with Alexandre de Beauharnais.
In these days on telephone, email, text, Facebook or Twitter, it is salutary to remember that in early 20th-century Britain the picture postcard was one of the cheapest and most accessible forms of communication. Over 600m postcards were posted in 1904, rising to over a staggering 900m in 1913.
Sadly, pope Joan – lovely idea though she is – is entirely fictional. According to legend, after the death of Pope Leo IV in 855 (some sources say after Pope Victor III in 1087) a pope was elected, who took the title John Anglicus. His reign was to be so short, however, as during an Easter procession between St Peter’s and the Lateran palace an excitable crowd pushed him from his horse.