More War than Peace

Posted on by Tom Fleming

It was, one supposes, inevitable. The bicentenary of the fall of Napoleon was simply too tempting a subject for authors and editors alike. I have spent virtually the whole summer wading through a series of new works on the French emperor. Notable among these are Napoleon: Soldier of Destiny, the first volume of a two-part […]

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Napoleonic Coda

Posted on by Tom Fleming

As we approach the two-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the jamboree of commemorations that it will unleash, it is perhaps salutary to ask what it is that we will be celebrating. Waterloo was Napoleon’s last battle, the defeat that condemned him to a second abdication and removal from the European stage. But […]

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Fighting Nine to Five

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

There was a time when every schoolboy knew the names Wellington and Nelson. Some may even have smiled wryly at the story of Lord Anglesey’s leg or pondered the true meaning of Nelson’s last words. At this most basic level, some contact was made with an extraordinary war that lasted for 22 years at a […]

Martinique to Malmaison

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

Marie-Josèphe-Rose Tascher de la Pagerie, the girl who grew up to be the Empress Josephine, had a life more extraordinary than that of any fairy-tale princess. Born into the family of a provincial ne’er-do-well, she survived divorce and the Revolution – she was days from the guillotine when Robespierre fell – to become one of […]

Leading from the Front

Posted on by Frank Brinkley

With the bicentenary of Waterloo fast approaching in 2015, it seems a suitable time to reassess the lives and careers of the opposing generals, the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte. These two monster biographies each tell, incredibly, just half their subject’s story. Philip Dwyer’s Citizen Emperor climaxes at Waterloo and is the sequel to […]

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