A diplomat's daughter, Evangeline Bell married diplomat David K.E. Bruce in 1945. She spoke numerous languages due to her upbringing in a dozen countries, and was a major success as her husband's partner and hostess in ambassador postings in France, Germany, Britain, and China. Her elegant parties in Washington, D.C. attracted the capital's leading political, journalism, and literary figures. Many people were thus surprised when Evangeline Bruce published her biography of Napoleon and Josephine as she seemed an improbable author and the book had been written over more than 20 years.