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Napoleon and Wellington: The Long Duel
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Napoleon and Wellington: The Long Duel

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  158 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
On the morning of the battle of Waterloo, the Emperor Napoleon declared that the Duke of Wellington was a bad general, the British were bad soldiers and that France could not fail to have an easy victory. Forever afterwards historians have accused him of gross overconfidence, and massively underestimating the calibre of the British commander opposed to him. Andrew Roberts ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published 2003 by Phoenix (first published 2001)
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Sean Chick
Oct 09, 2014 Sean Chick rated it it was ok
I wish I could rate this more highly, for Roberts is a good writer with a keen insight into Wellington's personality and the battle over history. Yet the book fails because of his conservative bent, that while relatively under raps, comes through in the book. Wellington, the arch-conservative, is therefore his hero, and his British critics are consistently insulted. I am always struck by the Anglo-American conservative love for British "traditions" and yet their tacit denial of the right to disa ...more
With schoolboy humour and a jibe at fellow-historians, Andrew Roberts undertakes to dispel myths about Napoleon and Wellington. One could say he sets himself up for the Battle of the Storyline. In some ways it is a wonder there is still interest in the style of warfare of this period. But that drawing of battle lines makes it relevant for today in ways that may not have otherwise been.

With all the twists and turns of alliances throughout the countries of Europe in the past, it seems strange to b
Having read his most recent biography of Napoleon at the beginning of this year, I had very high expectations for this book, and whilst it did not entirely disappoint, it took some time for me to become properly invested.

As I have found before, Roberts writes in a way which evokes quality and knowledge, producing well sourced and referenced judgments. Once again he frequently used anecdotes, many of which were entertaining which lighten the text.

However, the discussion of the military pursuits o
Gerry Germond
The story of a relationship. They never formally met, but each had plenty to say about the other. What began with mutual respect and some admiration became, after Waterloo, inimical. Here, Wellington enjoys the advantage in part because he survived Napoleon by thirty-one years. After the battle, Napoleon gave little credit to Wellington for his victory, but blamed his defeat on his own subordinates, the weather, and other factors save his opponent's competence. Meanwhile, the Duke publicly admir ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Betsy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good look at two of the most important military leaders of the 19th century. Focusing on their one meeting on the field of Waterloo, the author discusses their views of each other's generalship. For the most part, I felt the author tried to be objective, and I learned a great deal about the two men.
Stewart Crichton
May 30, 2016 Stewart Crichton rated it liked it
One of the more entertaining biographies I have read of these men. Roberts held my interest and kept me reading even during what could be called the duller content. Where it falls down is a slight bent in Wellington's favour as a little bias creeps through. Over all a good read.
John Cipolla
Sep 10, 2015 John Cipolla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: waterloo
Was an ok book. Not great I wanted to see more about the tactics that were used. However I did find interesting the fact that Wellington protected his lines of communications. It offered insight into napoleon himself his thoughts on the battle, and who he blamed for the loss. He had no shortage of who he blamed. He gave no credit to Wellington and his genius from the peninsula until waterloo.
Apr 06, 2008 Old-Barbarossa rated it really liked it
A historical look at the lives of the two men, comparing and contrasting their lives and styles of command, where their lives crossed or very nearly did. Full of things that, with my limited knowledge of the period, I had no idea about (eg: the large amount of Whig support that Napolen had in England). Towards the end of their lives it appears that Wellington became almost obssessed with collecting Napoleon related souveniers (including 2 of his mistresses), while Napoleon grew more and more bit ...more
Ben Van Kurin
Very factual but hard to follow
T.P. Williams
Oct 04, 2010 T.P. Williams rated it really liked it
Well-written dual mini-biography, concentrating on interaction between Napoleon & Wellington. They never met, but appear to have been obsessed with each other. Napoleon comes through as the long range strategic thinker, envisioning a unified Europe, which is only now coming to pass, following the cold war. Wellington appears to be a more traditional, parochial British figure, but of great character. Author points out that Waterloo not far from Brussels, now the "capital" of unified Europe.
Aug 04, 2011 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice parallel biography. It not only looks at the lives of both men, but chronicles the thoughts they had about each other. Interesting, but not overwhelmingly exciting. Nicely written work, but kind of pedestrian. One of my biggest complaints is that the author often quoted things in French, but didn't always translate. I don't speak French, so the impact of what he's trying to say is lost.
Dominik Niekowal
May 11, 2016 Dominik Niekowal rated it liked it
Dec 28, 2013 Windsor rated it really liked it
Shelves: napoleonic
Had a hard time giving this book 4 stars, but it deserves it for how interesting it is and how much of Wellington I was not aware of. Still not a necessity in my library, sadly.
Mar 16, 2009 Duzzlebrarian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd like to do the opposite of recommending this edition. Don't waste your money. No matter that the actual text of the book is excellent, the binding was so awful it fell to pieces after being read three times. THREE TIMES. Ridiculous.

Jul 17, 2012 Blair rated it really liked it
Shelves: military, napoleon
An engaging and often funny account of two great commanders in the age of revolution and war. It is a well balanced and unbiased view of both men's personalities and motivations both on and off the battlefield.
Urey Patrick
Interesting look at the personalities of Napoleon and Wellington juxtaposed against their careers and campaigns - and how each affected and influenced the other.
Jul 14, 2008 Polarbearandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good book, but slightly slanted to the british. other than that it was worth readng if you like the napoleanic era.
Aug 08, 2013 Ellenw rated it really liked it
First book that helped me feel I had a handle on Waterloo from a military and political viewpoint.
Mark Watson
Jan 21, 2008 Mark Watson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
brillantly researched and a useful tool for those of us into 19th century military history
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Dr Andrew Roberts, who was born in 1963, took a first class honours degree in Modern History at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, from where he is an honorary senior scholar and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). He has written or edited twelve books, and appears regularly on radio and television around the world. Based in New York, he is an accomplished public speaker, and is represented by Har ...more
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