Napoleon Bonaparte's sister Pauline Borghese was a nymphomaniac past the nth degree. So much so that even though she ruined her health she did not let it stop her from having sex.This malady also caused her to be carried most places. But considering how stuck on herself she was there were times when she could have easily walked but just wanted to be carried.
Born Maria Paola on the island of Corsica in 1780 in a tenement house Pauline was the sixth of seven children. When she was 4 her father, Carlo Buonaparte, died. Napoleon, 12 years her senior, was then sent to military school while she had very little schooling. When Corsica was at war for its independence the Buonaparte family was forced to flee for France in 1793 because of their loyalty to France.At this time Pauline, then known as Paoletta, became more French by changing hr name to Paulette before settling on the name Pauline.
She was a teenager of fine features & beauty that drew attention, however not all of the attention was favorable. Because of her looks & vivacity Pauline thought she could flirt outrageously & say whatever she liked, when ever she liked.Which of course made her an obnoxious little brat who would, at dinner parties, interrupt more knowledgeable adults & then proceed to make some silly exclamation or laugh at her own joke.
By the time Pauline was 15 she got engaged to Stanislaus Freron, the pro-Counsul in Marseille. He was twenty-six years her senior. This engagement caused a divide in the Bonaparte family with Napoleon at first supporting the arrangement & their mother,Letizia, being logically against the marriage. Not only was Freron older but he had an Italian actress as a mistress & the had 2 children already & 1 on the way. Due date was around the time of Pauline's & Freron's wedding. As usual Pauline didn't care. Even when Stanislaus Freron got his reckoning by being denounced for embezzlement on March 30,1796 & his mistress came forward, Pauline did not care & kept the engagement. But her brother Napoleon DID care so he told Pauline to leave Marseille & to come to Milan. Which she did, dropping Freron like an apple eaten to its core.
In Milan she met Victor Emanuel Leclerc. He was one of Napoleon's officers, in his mid-twenties (thank goodness), chiseled & dashing.April 20, 1797 Pauline & Victor announced their engagement. Now the engagement could've come out of love, for Leclerc did love Pauline, but it just as easily could've also come about because of lust. For her brother had caught having sex & at that time, I believe, marriage was the only option.
Pauline was anything but a blushing bride-to-be. For she knew she was beautiful & desirable & played it to the hilt. For on June 14,1797 Victor & Pauline got married in a civil ceremony outside Milan. Plus she renounced any claim on the Bonaparte family property. A religious ceremony was held that evening. While on their honeymoon Pauline became pregnant. On April 20, 1798 Dermide Louis Napoleon Leclerc was born. His birth would be difficult for his mother & it left her with health problems for the rest of her life. Years later Pauline would be diagnosed with inflammation of her fallopian tubes. The symptoms include abdominal pain & difficulty walking.This could have been caused by the birth of her son, a multitude of lovers or from the clap. This also resulted in Pauline's insistence over time that she be carried in either a chair or on a litter everywhere.Also in 1801 & several years later, she required a purpose-built girdle to support her pelvis.
But it was the ill health of Victor Leclerc that led to him resigning his post as Commander in Chief of the Army of Italy & to his wife's delight back to Paris where she could shop. Pauline was eager to make her mark in Paris & quickly became infamous for her wardrobe- or lack thereof. At a ball given by Madame Permon, an old family friend, in Pauline's honor Pauline came in an outfit that would've made Cleopatra jealous. Only to have her evening ruined by an envious guest who pointed out that Pauline's ears were not perfect like the rest of her. With that Pauline went home in tears.
TO BE CONTINUED...