By Ira Grossman Once upon a time 200 years ago, Napoleon and Josephine lived in a house in Paris’ Rue de la Victoire. It was the only house Napoleon owned as a private citizen. As a landmark, it had a long and colorful history behind it. It was also the scene of several memorable events in the career of this fascinating couple, including one of the earliest encounters between General Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais.
|The House on the Rue de la Victoire|
Napoleon first visited his future wife here at this location on October 15, 1795, according to historian Maurice Guerrini. Proctor Patterson Jones, the editor of Napoleon : An Intimate Account of the Years of Supremacy, wrote, he visited this house “presumably to congratulate the mother of a young man, Eugene de Beauharnais, who had come to Napoleon to request the sword of his father which had been confiscated during the Revolution.” Napoleon was obviously captivated by Eugene’s mother, and became a frequent visitor after that first visit. The house was then known as the Hotel de Beauharnais and it’s street address was No. 6, Rue Chantereine. Interestingly, the street got its name from the frogs that inhabited a marsh nearby. This house later became the scene of several memorable events such as the launching of Napoleon’scoup d’etat of the 18th Brumaire in November 9, 1799 and the marriage between his brother Louis and his step-daughter Hortense.
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