Guest Post

#GuestPost The French Emperor’s Woman By David Bissenden

Hello Book Dragons! On todays blog I would like to share a guest post written by David Bissenden about his historical thriller. I hope you will like it, and do check out this book. 😉

Publisher: Matador
ISBN13: 978-1800461444
Genre: Historical Mystery
Release date: 15 12 2020
Price*: Kindle £3.39 (GBP)/  Paperback £9.99 (GBP)
Kindle $4.60 (USD)/ Paperback $17.19 (USD)
Pages: ~ 280
You can get this book here:
Amazon UK
Bookshop.org

Description of the book: It s 1871. Napoleon III is living in exile in Chislehurst Kent, after being deposed as Emperor of France following his defeat at the battle of Sedan in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.

Marie Anne, one of his many mistresses ,and mother of his illegitimate son Pierre, had arranged for her boy to be taken as a stowaway from Rouen to London, but the boy never arrived and was allegedly last seen on a rowing boat coming ashore near Gravesend.

Distraught, and suspecting foul play, she seeks the assistance of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Gordon, the Commissioner for the Thames Forts who was later to achieve fame as Gordon of Khartoum , who knows just the man to help and soon William Reeves, Private Investigator, is on the case.

An Emperor, his mistress, a private detective and one missing boy what secrets will the investigation unfurl?

Guest Post: Themes by David Bissenden

I was drawn to these two historical characters – Gordon and Napoleon III- and the two vastly different worlds they inhabited.

Louis Napoleon, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, though married to Empress Eugenie, had countless mistresses. These were mostly actresses but also included the wives of his staff. It is highly likely that he fathered illegitimate children. During his time in power masked balls were held at the Tuileries Palace in Paris. These balls often degenerated into orgies as copious amounts of alcohol were consumed.

This dissolute lifestyle may have contributed to his health problems in later life as by 1871 he was suffering from urinary incontinence due to severe gall stones.

Gordon on the other hand, was a classic Victorian gentleman who never married and was probably celibate all of his life. He was a devout Christian and a great philanthropist, giving 90% of his income to local charities, particularly those related to boys, including the setting up of ‘Ragged Trouser’ schools. Even after leaving Gravesend at the end of 1871 Gordon still supported these charities for many years.

I find the juxtaposition of these lifestyles interesting, and though Napoleon does not appear in the novel in person, I think his shadow looms over it.

The book was also an opportunity to spotlight Gravesend and its many fine buildings. The nearby marshes and chalk pits also feature. Though some places are fictitious, the majority of locations mentioned are still in situ, and I believe that gives the story more credibility and resonance.

I hope you enjoy the book.

About the author: David Bissenden is a retired town planner who spent many years working and living near the marshes and chalk pits of the Thames estuary, which feature in much of his work. He has written numerous articles and dramas drawing on the history of the area and now lives in Cheshire.

*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com on the current date. The price might change at the time of your purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.

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