Now You Know – Questions Answered On ABC

I have received thousands of questions pertaining to this book. I answered a handful of questions on ABC’s program, Now You Know. Click Here To View Video

This video will answer the following:
Q.) Who is Princess Paolina?
Q.) How close was Paolina to Napolean?
Q.) How dificult was it to disclose scandalous history about your family?
Q.) What was the most surprising fact you uncovered about Paolina’s and Camillo’s relationship?
Q.) How did the Borghese family receive the “Prince” and “Princess” titles?
Q.) What advice would you give for those who want to write a book about their family?

I hope you find this information useful.

Your Questions Answered

Your voice in the novel is wonderfully objective and compassionate – how would you feel about a woman like Pauline? Would she be too much for you as she seemed to be at times for Camillo?
“I’m not really sure. She definitely would have been a challenge. But that’s somewhat exciting. As my mother says, “predictability is the kiss of death,” and certainly Pauline was not predictable. Although she had commitment issues, I really do believe it was due to the circumstances of the time. She rarely saw her husband and was also smart enough to realize he too was being unfaithful. That said, Pauline, when in love, was the ideal woman for me. It’s the Pauline who is out of love that I’d be worried about.”

In what ways are you sympathetic or understanding toward Camillo and what he went through in his relationship with Pauline?
“I’m sympathetic for Camillo when it comes to his jealousy and insecurities, although both were surely justified. The problem one faces when marrying a beautiful woman is that many men will try to steal her. This can often lead to jealousy, especially when the husband is apart from his wife and his wife happens to be a Princess and the sister of the Emperor of France. That’s rough.”

Did you have to study the period of the 19th century during the writing of the novel? Did you enjoy that? Was there anything about that period of life that you wish was still in practice in today’s modern world?
“Yes, I had to study the late 18th century and 19th century. I did enjoy learning about the rise and fall of Napolean and the absolute chaos that was occurring in Europe. If I could choose one thing from that period and bring it alive today, it would be the wonderful parties from that time. Grand palaces filled with masked kings, queens, dukes, princesses and artist all interacting like school kids. Champagne, fireworks, Italian delicacies, horse-drawn carriages…wow, now that would have been fun.”

How does your family feel about your writing of this novel? Do they think that you’ve portrayed Pauline and Camillo honestly and fairly? What were their first thoughts and impressions after reading the novel?
“My family has always supported me and this novel is no different. As they haven’t read the book yet, I can’t answer the question. However, I’m sure they will think I portrayed them both fairly.”

What was your favorite part of writing the novel? (i.e. getting to know your family and yourself better, such as your own ideals and morals?)
“Learning about the Pauline and Camillo. When I first saw Pauline’s statue in the Galleria Borghese in 1988 and her tomb in the crypt of the Borghese chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore, I knew I wanted to learn more. One day I thought…and sure enough, I did. That’s one more goal completed on my bucket list. Now it’s time to make a movie!”

Napolean’s Coronation

Coronation of Napolean by Jacques-Louis DavidDid you know that in the painting (left panel), Coronation of Napolean, which occurred on December 2, 1804 in the Notre Dame Cathedral, one person is portrayed in the illustration even though she was never there? Can you guess who it is? It was Napolean’s mother, Letizia. She missed the Coronation because she was in Italy trying to reconcile Lucien’s relationship with Napolean. Although she was unsuccessful, this showed what a dedicated mother she was. She was sickened at the fact that Napolean and Lucien disagreed on many topics. At the center of their conflicted opinions was that Lucien believed it was best for France to remain a Republic, ruled by its citizens, rather than an Empire, ruled by his brother. At this time, Letizia was realizing that Napolean was putting his interest in front of his family’s. However, as the mother of the Emperor, she couldn’t find it in her to stop supporting her son which she considered the leader of her family (first) and the leader of France second.

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