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WEDDING DAYS: When and How Great Marriages Began

A rich trove of gossipy tidbits, quirky coincidences, and romantic adventures, WEDDING DAYS is an ideal gift for engagements, anniversaries, and anyone who believes in timeless love.


Among the many questions answered in WEDDING DAYS are:


* What Elvis Presley sang to Priscilla as he carried her across the threshold;
* Why inventor Thomas Edison proposed to Mina Miller in Morse Code;
* Who was first called "The Queen of Hearts" long before the late Princess Di;
* Which woman inspired the building of the Taj Mahal;
* How the world-famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng, managed to father 21 children!



As Writer-in-Residence for Victoria magazine, Susan wrote about the joy and challenges of writing WEDDING DAYS, and she poked (gentle) fun at Prince William & Kate Middleton's 2011 wedding in a personal essay for LA TIMES and other media.


Susan continues to speak about romance and great marriages to business groups, women's clubs, bridal show groups, and libraries across the United States.


Here's how and why Napoleon had to share his wedding night with Josephine with her nasty pug dog --




Josephine wasn't impressed when she met Napoleon. The French army officer was somewhat shy and inexperienced, six years younger and several inches shorter than she. Her late husband had been guillotined the year before, during the Reign of Terror. Josephine had been imprisoned, too, but she was released days before her own scheduled execution. Virtually penniless, with two children to care for, she borrowed money from relatives, fixed herself up, and looked for a new and suitable protector.


When Napoleon was promoted to brigadier general, she focused all her attentions on him. At thirty-two, her body was still voluptuous. She flattered and teased him, beguiled and seduced him, making him half-mad with passion. "To live with Josephine is to live in Elysium," he wrote. "A kiss on your mouth, your eyes, your shoulder, your breasts, everywhere! everywhere!"


They married in Paris in 1796. Signing the wedding contract in the mayor's office, Napoleon added eighteen months to his age and Josephine subtracted four years, making them both - for the moment - twenty-eight. Afterward, they walked back to her apartment; her children were with relatives, but her pet dog, Fortune, was at home.


The tiny black-faced pug had a nasty disposition and snapped at everyone except his mistress. He snarled when Napoleon entered the house and barked ferociously when he climbed into Josephine's bed. Next he nipped at Napoleon's heels, sinking his teeth into his legs. Napoleon tried tossing the little monster out the door, but Josephine blocked the way, insisting that her sweet pet always slept beside her and getting married wasn't going to change that.


Two days later, Napoleon and his troops departed for Italy and conquered it in record time. In eight years, he and Josephine became emperor and empress of France. She never parted with the wedding ring he gave her; inscribed inside were the words, "To Destiny!"


Copyright (c) by Susan J. Gordon, published by Avondale Books, 2020.