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message 51: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) What can I say André, he's a great man :)

message 52: by André (new)

André (AndrH) | 2562 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "What can I say André, he's a great man :)"

I guess a lot of people couldn't (and still can't) see what he tried to achieve and why the European Kings and Fiefdoms got so scared.

message 53: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Very true André!

message 54: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is a new book on Napoleon that may interest a few here:

Napoleon by Alan Forrest by Alan Forrest
On a cold December day in 1840 Parisians turned out in force to watch as the body of Napoleon was solemnly carried on a riverboat from Courbevoie on its final journey to the Invalides. The return of their long-dead Emperor's corpse from the Island of St Helena was a moment that Paris had eagerly awaited, though many feared that the memories stirred would serve to further destabilize a country that had struggled for order and direction since he had been sent into exile.

In this book, Alan Forrest, tells the remarkable story of how the son of a Corsican attorney became the most powerful man in Europe, a man whose charisma and legacy endured after his lonely death many thousands of miles from the country whose fate had become so entwined with his own.

Along the way, Alan Forrest also cuts away the many layers of myth and counter myth that have grown up around Napoleon, a man who mixed history and legend promiscuously and, drawing on original research and his own distinguished background in French history, demonstrates that Napoleon was as much a product of his times as their creator.

The Author:
Alan Forrest is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. He works on modern French history, especially the period of the French Revolution and Empire, and on the history of modern warfare. He serves on the editorial boards of French History and War in History, and is a member of the advisory committee for Annales historiques de la Revolution Française.

message 55: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is one review of the latest release title offering a new and concise biography on Napoleon as mentioned above:

Napoleon by Alan Forrest by Alan Forrest
"WHAT do you do if you want a biography of an epoch-maker such as Napoleon in a text of not much more than 300 pages?

You ring Professor Forrest of York University who is so familiar with the subject and all its sources that he is able to cover every essential without seeming hurried, cluttered or trite.

Forrest beguiles us at the outset with the transfer of Napoleon's ashes from Saint Helena to Paris in 1840 and their interment in the chapel of Les Invalides.

Then we return to the beginning, the birth in Corsica 1769, son of a lawyer, and follow the legendary outlines of his rise and fall refreshed at every stage by Forrest's gift for synthesis and overview without loss of vital detail.

Napoleon was always a product of the French Revolution but he was first a military man.

He passed out of military school at 16, well before the revolution, having specialised in artillery because officers in the infantry or cavalry were drawn from the French nobility.

He soon demonstrated his skill by dislodging the English from Toulon. By the age of 26 he'd been given command by the Revolutionary authorities of the invasion of north Italy which he took from the Austrians.

He fell in love with Josephine, a Creole woman six years his senior and they were married.

Now he was unstoppable. In Republican France the government of the Directory gave way to that of the Consuls. He was First Consul and started to assume dictatorial powers. Briefly there was peace in Europe. For me this is his greatest period during which he drew up the Civil Code.

It replaced creaky traditions in France and the seized territories with a relatively sane and simple system of justice. It remains one of the pillars of European law.

But Napoleon suffered from depression if he wasn't out there conquering and reshaping things and his megalomania kicked in with a vengeance.

So he became consul for life then hereditary emperor of the French. It was the Pope's job to crown emperors but Napoleon crowned himself.

He made his brothers kings in their own right. He ditched Josephine and married the daughter of the emperor of Austria by whom he had a son.

He compared himself to Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Charlemagne but he was more theatrical than all of them put together.

Everything had to be plumed, draped, monogrammed or redesigned - even the furniture - and he stole a lot of art too.

He was a master propagandist who invented the cult of personality for tyrannical purposes. Every dictator since has studied this original.

However it was all too much.The march on Moscow in 1812 was absurd and tragic allowing Wellington to take Spain from the French.

Napoleon's grand adventure collapses, he is forced to abdicate, is exiled to Elba, escapes and returns to Paris.

The man's vital force is astonishing. Another coalition is formed against him and the final confrontation is at Waterloo in 1815.

Napoleon is defeated by the English, Dutch and Prussian forces but as Wellington admitted it was a near thing.

Exiled again, this time to the remote South Atlantic island of Saint Helena, Napoleon dies there in 1821 at the age of 52.

Throughout all of this Professor Forrest keeps his academic cool, never once joining the debate on whether or not Napoleon was a good or bad thing and the result is a book of supreme competence and reflection." - Daily Express

message 56: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 10461 comments I just picked this up at the library and intend to start reading it this week. The book is a biography of the Napoleonic dynasty with, it appears, the majority dedicated to Napoleon I. I perused it quickly and it appeared to be something I will like, although it is only 255 pages long. The author must cram a lot of information into a rather short book.

The Bonapartes The History of a Dynasty by William H.C. Smith by William H.C. Smith

message 57: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Jill,

Let us know if you do read it and your thoughts. I have a copy of this book (same cover) that I am yet to read that may cover the same ground although first published in 1909.

Napoleon's Brothers by A.H. Atteridge by A.H. Atteridge

message 58: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 10461 comments Will do, AR.

message 59: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11593 comments Thanks Jill for the entry. Interesting.

message 60: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3275 comments An upcoming biography:
Release date: November 4, 2014

Napoleon: A Life

Napoleon A Life by Andrew Roberts by Andrew Roberts (no photo)


Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo: his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far more than a military genius and astute leader of men. Like George Washington and his own hero Julius Caesar, he was one of the greatest soldier-statesmen of all times.

Andrew Roberts’s Napoleon is the first modern biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine. Like Churchill, he understood the strategic importance of telling his own story, and his memoirs, dictated from exile on St. Helena, became the single bestselling book of the nineteenth century.

An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to fifty-three of Napoleon’s sixty battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Here at last is a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by one of our foremost historians.

message 61: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 30587 comments Thank you Jerome

message 62: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3275 comments Napoleon and the Revolution

Napoleon and the Revolution by David P. Jordan by David P. Jordan (no photo)


This new study of Napoleon emphasizes his ties to the French Revolution, his embodiment of its militancy, and his rescue of its legacies. Jordan's work illuminates all aspects of his fabulous career, his views of the Revolution and history, the artists who created and embellished his image, and much of his talk about himself and his achievements.

message 63: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3275 comments Napoleon: A Biography

Napoleon A Biography by Frank McLynn by Frank McLynn (no photo)


Author McLynn explores the Promethean legend from his Corsican roots, through the chaotic years of the French Revolution and his extraordinary military triumphs, to the coronation in 1804, to his fatal decision in 1812 to add Russia to his seemingly endless conquests, and his ultimate defeat, imprisonment, and death in Saint Helena. McLynn aptly reveals the extent to which Napoleon was both existential hero and plaything of fate, mathematician and mystic, intellectual giant and moral pygmy, great man and deeply flawed human being.

As Napoleon’s obsession with his family surfaces and his conviction that every man has his price, the emperor emerges as a figure closer to a modern Mafia godfather than a visionary European. In this work, McLynn brings the reader, as never before, closer to understanding the much mythologized Napoleon.

message 64: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 10461 comments Napoleon's defeat in Egypt did not discourage his dreams of power which he seized after the campaign....turning a defeat into victory.

Bonaparte in Egypt

Bonaparte in Egypt by J. Christopher Herold by J. Christopher Herold (no photo)


Originally published in 1962, J. Christopher Herold's Bonaparte in Egypt is the best modern account of this extraordinary campaign. In a detailed study, elegantly written, Herold covers all aspects of Bonaparte's expedition: military, political, and cultural. It was a bold adventure, full of drama, topped and tailed by the extremes of total triumph and utter defeat. Although Bonaparte was victorious at the Battle of the Pyramids and occupied Cairo, his fleet was completely destroyed by Nelson at Abukir Bay and his ambition to conquer the Holy Land was frustrated at Acre. Despite these reverses. Bonaparte returned to France where he was greeted as a hero and seized political power in 1799. His attempt to take permanent control of Egypt and Syria for France was a critical stage on his road to power, and it is one of the most revealing episodes in his spectacular career.

message 65: by Jill, Assisting Moderator - Military Hist L/Global NF/Eur/Brit/Music (new)

Jill Hutchinson (Bucs1960) | 10461 comments A look at the personal life of Napoleon and his Empress, Josephine.

Napoleon and Josephine: An Improbably Marriage

Napoleon And Josephine An Improbable Marriage by Evangeline Bruce by Evangeline Bruce(no photo)


Set against the pomp and splendor of prerevolutionary France, Napoleon and Josephine is an enthralling tale of desire, betrayal, and ambition. It chronicles Napoleon's rise to power and ascent to the imperial throne; the first meeting between Napoleon and Josephine; and the subsequent stormy marriage and Josephine's inability to produce an heir, their divorce...and wrenching separation.Drawn from the lovers' private letters and journals, this biography brings to life a tumultuous era and two of history's most fascinating people in a story so compelling, romantic, and compulsively readable it could be fiction.

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Books mentioned in this topic

Napoleon Bonaparte (other topics)
The French Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (other topics)
The Reign of Napoleon Bonaparte (other topics)
The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte (other topics)
The Days of the French Revolution (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Alan Schom (other topics)
William Doyle (other topics)
Robert B. Asprey (other topics)
Christopher Hibbert (other topics)
Philip G. Dwyer (other topics)