Hosted by Historic Annapolis, Alexandra Deutsch, Maryland Historical Society’s Director of Collections and Interpretation and writer of A Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, will discuss the remarkable story of Napoleon’s American sister-in-law. Deutsch is the former curator of Historic Annapolis, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of historic sites in Maryland’s capital. In a captivating two-hour lecture, Deutsch will tell the curious tale of the young American socialite who became the bride of Jerome Bonaparte, the youngest brother of Napoleon, the future Emperor of France.
Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte
Born February 6, 1785, Elizabeth Patterson “Betsy” Bonaparte was the daughter of wealthy Baltimore, Maryland merchant, William Patterson. Elizabeth’s father was born in Ireland and immigrated to the American colonies before the Revolutionary War. He was considered to be the second wealthiest man in Maryland, only surpassed by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Marriage to Jerome Bonaparte
Presided by Archbishop John Carroll of Baltimore, Betsy and Jerome Bonaparte’s wedding ceremony was held on Christmas Eve 1803. Her daring wedding dress established her notoriety as having a risqué taste in fashion among American high society. Napoleon also disapproved of her, and he demanded that Jerome return to France and annul the marriage.
During the autumn of 1804, a pregnant Betsy and Jerome made an attempt to travel to France for the coronation of Napoleon, but he forbade her entry into continental Europe. Jerome went to Italy in a failed attempt to secure his brother’s blessing, and Elizabeth did not see him again until 1817, when they briefly exchanged silent glances.
A Woman of Two Worlds Lecture
Deutsch will reveal several interesting stories and fascinating objects that were previously undiscovered until her research for Betsy Patterson’s biography, A Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte. After the lecture, the book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Location: James Brice House, 42 East Street, Annapolis
General Admission: $15, reservations required.
For More Information & Reservations: A Woman of Two Worlds
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