Andrea Stuart was born and raised in the Caribbean. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and French at the Sorbonne. Her book The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon’s Josephine was published in the United States in 2004, has been translated into three languages and won the Enid McLeod Literary Prize. Stuart’s work has been published in numerous anthologies, newspapers and magazines, and she regularly reviews books for The Independent. She has also worked as a TV producer.
The untold story of a heroic band of Caribbean pirates whose defiance of imperial rule inspired revolt in colonial outposts across the world
In the early eighteenth century, the Pirate Republic was home to some of the great pirate captains, including Blackbeard, "Black Sam" Bellamy, and Charles Vane. Along with their fellow pirates—former sailors, indentured servants, and runaway slaves—this "Flying Gang" established a crude but distinctive democracy in the Bahamas, carving out their own zone of freedom in which servants were free, blacks could be equal citizens, and leaders were chosen or deposed by a vote. They cut off trade routes, sacked slave ships, and severed Europe from its New World empires, and for a brief, glorious period the Republic was a success.
One of the most potent icons of female sexuality, Josephine has largely been reduced to an empty cipher, wife to her more famous husband and the butt of one of the oldest jokes around. Yet as Andrea Stuart shows, the girl who grew up on the beautiful island of Martinique endured Caribbean slave revolts, an arranged marriage, and the threat of the guillotine before she even met the man who made her Empress of France. In the grip of turbulent times, Josephine used her intelligence and her allure to forge her way in a Paris that raged and fought and danced its way through revolution and empire. This is the thrilling story of her strength, survival and ultimate transformation.