11 thoughts on “SNARK WEEK RECAP: Napoleon and Josephine: a Love Story (1987) – Part 4

  1. For some unaccountable reason, one of Nappy’s large family, Princess Murat, is buried in Tallahassee, FL, near the university. I assume she was buried in a proper Empire winding-sheet.

  2. I’m glad this series chose to forgo the ridiculous myth Napoléon snatched the crown from Pope Pius VII.

    But about this actual coronation: according to Junot’s memoirs, the quick hammering and preparation work for Notre-Dame left some loose and cracked pieces of masonry in the ceiling, some of which fell during the ceremony. One piece, “the size of a nut” fell directly on Napoléon while he was placing the crown on his head. He remained unfazed. And it seems everyone was in “ceremony” mode, so no one reacted to it. There’s a detail I’ve never seen in any movies or shows about Napoléon.

    He also despised his coronation robes and was glad to get it over with. Madame Junot saw Napoléon “check a yawn” several times throughout the ceremony. After Napoléon returned to his chambers, he ripped off his robes and threw them in various corners of the room. He is alleged to have said, “Off, off with these confounded trappings! I never passed such tedious hours before.” A different account states he said, “At last I breathe!” Either way, same sentiment.

    1. I’m glad this series chose to forgo the ridiculous myth Napoléon snatched the crown from Pope Pius VII.

      You spoke too soon! Of course they included that, I just didn’t happen to mention it in my recap!

      1. Oh no! Shakes fist at the sky

        U̶n̶f̶o̶r̶t̶u̶n̶a̶t̶e̶l̶y̶ Perhaps thankfully this episode isn’t online that I could find, unlike other episodes, so I extrapolated from the screenshots. Mea culpa.

  3. I never seen so many ugly costumes in one mini-series, they are just to hideous to bear. Kudos to you Kendra for your endurance!

  4. As you say, they deserve kudos for the effort they put into the coronation scene costumes. There are really only details that are snarkable. E.g. you rightly say that Josephine’s velvet train is missing its shoulder straps. I wonder if they were basing it on this surviving original here, which doesn’t have them?
    This is odd, because other surviving ones do, and all the contemporary images do if you squint closely enough. I wonder if Mme Berenger’s one originally had them and they were cut off at some time later, perhaps to make it easier to display laid out flat, or had got damaged and didn’t look good?

    It’s almost as though there were two teams of costumiers, one that had some idea what they were doing and another that didn’t know and/or just didn’t care. (And then there’s Napoleon’s epically terrible shirt, which is in a class of its own on not-making-sense-on-any-level. It’s not even practical. Of course garments made for theatre often have inaccurate closures just so actors can make quick changes without help. But how is a back-fastening shirt ever a good idea for anyone, compared to one you can just pull on and off?)

    A few more things in descending order of relevance:

    Thanks for that portrait of Catherine Grand! I’d love to see the real thing (or a really good photo of it) because the layers of her outfit are fascinating. It looks as though there’s a loose and fairly opaque top layer from bust down to about hip level, and under that a clinging semi-translucent layer (an Invisible Petticoat? Or even tights?) and the actual skirt of the gown is as near as dammit transparent.

    Who the frack takes their DOG to an official ball???

    Looking at Anthony Perkins’ legs just made me think of Napoleon’s description of him as “nothing but shit in a silk stocking”.

    1. While it’s wrong, I’m not sure I’d object if I were throwing a ball and a dog showed up. Hell, a dog (in a carrier) was brought to our wedding and we were thrilled!

  5. I don’t believe I can take much more of this….
    The marriage of Louis Bonaparte and Hortense was entirely political and neither was very happy about it. They did not live happily ever after!

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