Tascher was born to Joseph and Rose-Marie Tascher in
1763 on the Caribbean island of Martinique, and was
known as Rose or Yeyette as a child. Her family owned
the plantation Trois-Ilets, but hurricanes destroyed
their estate in 1766 and left them struggling financially.
Tascher family had three daughters, and it was hoped
that they might make successful marriages to help their
family's financial situation. The girls, however, were
hampered by both a limited dowry, and a lack of a sophisticated
sister Edmee, who lived in France, was the mistress
of Francois de Beauharnais a man of rank and
money. When his health began to fail, Edmee arranged
a marriage between Francois son Alexandre and
Joseph's twelve-year-old daughter Catherine, to ensure
that Francois money would continue to support
her and help the struggling Tascher family as well.
Unfortunately, while the letter announcing the arrangement
was en route to Martinique, Catherine died. Joseph,
eager to seize the marriage opportunity regardless of
Catherine's death, instead accompanied his older daughter
Rose to France to marry Alexandre.
When she came into the room, you'd probably be
really drawn to her. She had great charisma, long
eyelashes and big eyes. She wasn't a beauty, but she
was really striking
She had a wonderful walk,
very elegant, an indolent walk that really was enchanting.
And she had a beautiful voice, what we would call
a really sexy voice, very low and musical. So there
was something about her aura that just enchanted people.
substitution of brides was a shock to Alexandre, but
nevertheless the ceremony took place in 1779. Theirs
was not a happy marriage. Although they had two children,
they spent the majority of their time living separate
lives. The terror of the Revolution swept through France
in 1789, and like most French nobility, Alexandre met
his fate at the guillotine. Although Rose was also imprisoned
and sentenced to death, she escaped death through sheer
luck Robespierre was overthrown before her day
of execution arrived, and the Revolution was over.
after the Revolution was difficult for Rose and her
two children. To survive, she became the mistress of
men who were in a position to help support her. It was
during this time that she met Napoleon.
Josephine is a woman who is very good and who knows
how to draw attention on to her. Shes simple.
Shes not complicated. Shes not someone
who makes up schemes, and shes very gracious.
Has a lot of charm and may not be very beautiful but
has a very flexible gait... someone that draws attention.
Shes a real woman and thats what Napoleon
said always about her, and that shes someone
who doesnt leave people indifferent.
was a Major-General in the French Army a man
with lofty ambition. To achieve his goals, though, he
needed a rich wife. Josephine in turn saw him as a possible
patron, and cultivated his friendship. They became lovers
awake full of you. Your image and the memory of last
nights intoxicating pleasures has left no rest
to my senses.
incomparable Josephine, what a strange effect you
have on my heart. Are you angry? Do I see you sad?
Are you worried? My soul breaks with grief, and there
is no rest for your lover; but how much the more when
I yield to this passion that rules me and drink a
burning flame from your lips and your heart? Oh! This
night has shown me that your portrait is not you!
leave at midday; in three hours I shall see you.
my sweet love, a thousand kisses; but do not give
me any, for they set my blood on fire.
proposed in January 1796, and they wed on March 9, 1796,
just prior to his taking command of the army in Italy.
She was hesistant at first to marry him, because he
was "silent and awkward with women, was passionate
and lively, though altogether strange in all his person."
Oh, he's a scruffy guy, you know, that everyone
was embarrassed about. He was so serious and he had
no sense of humor and he was skinny. He was poorly
clothed. His boots smelled. His hair was kind of hanging
and he was unkempt. He was a sorry sight.
had great dreams for their future, and his wedding present
to Rose whom he had renamed Josephine
was a gold medallion inscribed with the words "To