Books: Declining Descendants

THE GOLDEN BEES by Theo Aronson. 407 pages. New York Graphic Society. $8.95.

Socially, the Bonapartes always had a problem: while Napoleon conquered Europe, the family never conquered European society. This was a grave disappointment to all of them, including Napoleon I. Even after he became Emperor, he felt it necessary to suggest that the Bonapartes had been the Bourbons of Corsica, a claim that greatly amused his niece, Princess Mathilde Bonaparte. "If it had not been for Napoleon's armies," she once confessed, "I would be selling oranges on the quayside at Ajaccio."...

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