THE DYING NELSON and the haughty Wellington loom large in the British perception of the Napoleonic Wars. The mastery achieved by the Royal Navy, the grinding victory in the Peninsular War and the bloody denouement of Waterloo dominate our view of the struggle against Napoleon. Yet there was another important theatre of operations: the Mediterranean. Far from home, it was often far from the forefront of politicians' and the public's minds, and, moreover, far from decisive. Consequently, the spoor it has left on the paths of our history is barely discernible.
Tom Pocock's excellent new book, Stopping Napoleon: War and Intrigue in the Mediterranean should go some way to filling this lacuna. It is a spirited account of the events in that theatre after Trafalgar until the departure of Napoleon to St Helena in 1815. Pocock's lively, fluid prose and journalist's