Thursday, June 17, 2010

Historical fiction meets reality TV

This afternoon, UPS brought me an ARC for a historical novel based on the life of this woman.

The novel, Prince Lorenzo Borghese's The Princess of Nowhere, comes out in December from Avon. Pauline Bonaparte has been described as Napoleon I's favorite sister, and she seems to have been quite a fun-loving character. Just over two years ago, I posted the following info and comments on the original deal for the novel, which someone struggled (not very successfully) to fit into one sentence:

Lorenzo Borghese's THE PRINCESS OF NOWHERE: Antonio Canova's masterpiece sculpture of Pauline Bonaparte lies in the crux of this historical novel which centers on the romance and relationship of Camillo Borghese and Pauline Bonaparte in early 19th century Rome; the statue, presently at Galleria Borghese, depicts the extremely complicated and passionate woman that Canova, who was hired by Camillo, witnessed, to Lucia Macro at Avon, by Ian Kleinert at Objective Entertainment.

One of the recent stars of ABC's The Bachelor has the same name as the author above. I'm assuming they're different people (though likely related to one another) unless someone tells me otherwise.
Well, I've been told otherwise. According to the publicity sheet, the novel's author and the former Bachelor star are one and the same, though his Wikipedia entry hasn't yet been updated to include the novel. This is where I reveal my secret vice. I've been watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette since the first season, when I cringed in horror that Alex dumped Trista for Amanda (ugh). It's all very hokey, and the show becomes more scripted each time, yet I continued watching since it was entertaining. At least until this summer's season of The Bachelorette, which I decided was just too idiotic... I do have standards. Anyway, I never thought my worlds of historical fiction and silly reality TV would ever cross, but it seems they have.

According to a family tree within the ARC, the author is a direct descendant not of Pauline herself, but of her husband's brother, Francesco Borghese. I won't be reviewing it here (this copy's destined for another reviewer) and while it's a far cry from literary fiction, the writing seems competent enough.

Anyone planning to read it? Perhaps someone could even review The Princess of Nowhere alongside Kate Pullinger's The Mistress of Nothing (out from Touchstone in January).


  1. I would never have picked a contestant on The Bachelor for penning a historical novel. I can't wait to see how it is!

  2. I just sent an email requesting this title for review. I had no idea of the connection to The Bachelor! Too funny!

  3. I have been drooling over this book since I saw it on Amazon months ago. It looks sooo good!

    Fingers crossed that I can score an ARC as well.

    I'm also really interested in The Mistress of Nothing too.

    I hope you enjoy it Sarah and I can't wait to read your review!

  4. I knew that Lorenzo Borghese was writing a book but I didn't know it was a novel about Pauline. How interesting. What I remember about his season was that he didn't speak any Italian, and was probably one of the least interesting Bachelors. I read and reviewed Flora Fraser's biography, I will probably review this as well.

  5. I thought the name sounded familiar - I never would have expected a bachelor to show up in our little world. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. I thought his season on the Bachelor was one of the least memorable, aside from the European location. I hadn't known he was writing a book, although I found this article from EW that talks about it (he calls it a "romance novel").

    This is the first time one of my blog posts has been linked from the Celebopedia, too.

  7. Sounds good - it's always puzzled me why the notorious (if rather dim) Pauline hasn't attracted much in the way of HF. Edgar Maass' 1946 "Imperial Venus,( later made into a movie starring Gina Lollobrigida ) is the only one that immediately comes to mind.

    Though it wouldn't surprise me to find out that Sarah has three obscure novels about Pauline B tucked away somewhere on her amazing bookshelves :)

  8. Not this time, Annis :) Imperial Venus is the only one I know about also. I do have an obscure novel about Napoleon's sister Caroline, though! It is odd that this will be first novel about Pauline in 60-some years. One would have thought most scandalous royals would have been thoroughly fictionalized by now!

  9. Out of curiosity, have you seen the film? I just put it into my Netflix queue - couldn't resist.

  10. No, sorry, I haven't seen the movie. I see reviews on Amazon indicate that the English-language dubbed version has been cut, and is perhaps not as good as the original. Be interested to hear what you think of it!