Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Napoleon” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  269 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Description not available.
Paperback, 0 pages
Published October 1st 1966 by Signet (first published 1963)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Napoleon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Napoleon

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 575)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Tommy Trionfetti
Excellent single volume biography.
JoséMaría BlancoWhite
This little 1963 book of about 250 pages of tightly pressed print gives a more than sufficient first overlook at this man's life and era. It covers, I believe, all the facets of his life, from family man, through lover, to war titan, politician and emperor. From his Corsican cultural inheritance to his Saint Helen exile and even the immediate post-Napoleonic times. The story is not entangled as one might expect from having so much to tell about in so reduced a space, but it is lively and amazing ...more
Jul 26, 2016 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a 25th anniversary reprint, representing one of the first English scholarly histories of this interesting character. It provides a nice overview of the life and times of Napoleon.

Since I didn't know a whole lot about Napoleon before reading this book, I found it filled the informative need well. Where the writer really captivated my interest (as all good historians do) is in the anecdotal accounts of Napoleon's personality and interactions. These accounts go a long way towards separ
Dec 28, 2013 Windsor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: napoleonic
The only short book on Napoleon I like. Amazing overview. This is the first book I ever give any of my friends who want to learn about him.
May 25, 2007 Kurt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history and military buffs
Markham's book is dated (1963), but it is still a very good work in that it allows the non-historian to access Napoleon's military and political genius in a relatively short (300 pp) treatment. What you'll learn about Napoleon from Markham: 1) his concern for not offending the Muslims in Egypt in 1799 when he invaded to challenge the British and Admiral Nelson (much like General Petreus today in Iraq); 2) Napoleon arrested Pope Pius VII since he was sour on Napoleon's divorce from Josephine (sou ...more
Aug 19, 2008 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: about-history
Felix Markham wrote: "It would be futile to attempt a summing-up or a verdict on Napoleon as a man or as an historical phenomenon. It is better to try to let the facts speak for themselves..." (p. 265) Evidently, this is what he strove to do. First published in 1963, Markham's "Napoleon" made a splash as the first full biography of Napoleon to make use of (then) newly available primary sources: letters written to Napoleon by his second wife, the Empress Marie-Louise, discovered and published in ...more
Marius Pontmercy
I found this a very interesting book, filled with information and facts. Still, it is not for "beginners" in Napoleonic history. There are just too many facts, events and names that will not ring any bells unless for people having a relatively high understanding and knowledge of the time period.

I would recommend it to those who are truly interested in Napoleon, but I would not recommend this to people that have just a slight interest in things.

Remarkably, the part that I will remember best from
Feb 20, 2014 Mshelton50 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good biography. Markham writes well, and his book does a good job of fitting Napoleon into his time. Unlike so many treatments, this book is neither a hagiography nor a hatchet job; Markham is objective throughout. I actually thought the book was best in describing Napoleon after his April 1814 abdication, and the account of his treatment on St. Helena is moving.
Feb 19, 2016 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Napoleon" offers a excellent portrait of the life and times of one of history's most fascinating figures. A compact biography that reads quickly and easily, Markham offers a solid presentation of Napoleon, both on a personal level and on his role on the world stage. A highly recommended book for anyone (like myself) looking for a good introduction into the Napleonic era.
Betsy Balcombe
How Markham could condense the life of one of the greatest military stratetgists, statesman, and just plain genius is incomprehensible. The length of this book could easily be devoted to a detailed study of one of Bonaparte's greatest battles, like Austerlitz. Perhaps the author's intention was to produce something quick and succinct.
Aug 14, 2014 Stefan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't care much for military history, and I still don't. Despite most of the book being military stuff, I read through it and appreciated more of the historical analysis and comprehension of his character. To me he was lustful and ignorant. He wanted victory, and wanted more and more after that. He did not know when, or even how, to stop and rule what he had.
Jason Goetz
Apr 13, 2015 Jason Goetz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was looking for a little more depth, but all the main points of Napoleon's life are covered.
David Trower
Aug 04, 2015 David Trower rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty good book. It covered lots of history in a short amount of time.
Steven Patrick
Jan 10, 2014 Steven Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Markham masters the art of history written in a style no longer popular. Interesting anecdotes, fun details and a short length make this an excellent introductory Napoleon history that has since been added to by the enormous amount of Napoleonists.
Robert A. Binger
This book is not only a great history lesson, but it includes letters to and from different people involved in Napoleon's campaign. It gives this book more of a story rather than the typical textbook summary of events. It kept my interest the entire time and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone that's interested in Napoleon.
Sean Chick
Aug 12, 2011 Sean Chick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Offers a superb understanding of the man, that is quite balanced and insightful. What doesn't quite work is that the author intends this book as an introductory biography, but there are so many events and characters to be covered that the book will overwhelm those without background knowledge.
Apr 30, 2016 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
A concise and straightforward history of an immensely influential man. Markham moves very quickly, but so did Napoleon himself. A fiercely complicated man, and Markham never shies away from that. Highly recommend.
Bro_Pair أعرف
Feb 18, 2013 Bro_Pair أعرف rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very lucid biography, but I'm glad I read a book on the French Revolution before this, Markham moves briskly. The best chapter is about the bizarre conditions of his exile on St. Helena - it would make a great comedy
May 22, 2012 Rich rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: napoleonic, biography
I was prepared to dislike this biography since it's, well, old... but I was pleasantly surprised to come across some insightful passages that make the book still worthy of a spot on the bookshelf.
Carol Stansfield
Dec 07, 2007 Carol Stansfield rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this copy bought in 1966 cost $0.95 the other copy purchased in 1990 costs $5.95 it was also the third printing, no revisions, the only difference between the two books was the cost.
Luke Lanciano
Mar 06, 2013 Luke Lanciano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very concise history of Napoleon, not for those unfamiliar with the time period. Moves fast, sometimes choppy, but thorough and not hagiographic, which is rare in a biography.
Read for a course at Baylor University entitled: Cultural History of Europe, taught by Dr. Richard Skinner.
Feb 01, 2015 Kaiulani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very brief overview of an incredibly complex life but perfectly so.
Choirul Muttaqin
Jan 08, 2014 Choirul Muttaqin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter marked it as to-read
Oct 19, 2016
Sarah added it
Oct 15, 2016
Ernesto Blohm
Ernesto Blohm rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2016
Islam marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2016
BookDB marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Napoleon
  • Bismarck and the German Empire
  • Napoleon: The Path to Power
  • The Campaigns of Napoleon
  • Napoleon's Wars: An International History, 1803-1815
  • Napoleon: A Biography
  • Wellington: A Personal History
  • The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe
  • The Oxford History of the French Revolution
  • The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • The Harmless People
  • Bismarck: The Man and the Statesman
  • The Origins of the First World War
  • Ready, Steady, Go!: The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London
  • The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte
  • History of Rome
  • Defeat: Napoleon's Russian Campaign
  • The Value of Believing in Yourself: The Story of Louis Pasteur

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »