Alistair Horne begins his absorbing account by examining Napoleon's rise to prominence against the background of the French Revolution. He describes Napoleon's brilliance as a general and strategist, culminating in the Battle of Austerlitz, one of the greatest military campaigns of all times. He goes on to discuss the cultural achievements of the Napoleonic era both in France and abroad before charting Napoleon's downfall and his bitter defeat at Waterloo in 1815. The book ends with a discussion of Napoleon's legacy and the myths that have sprung up around this most controversial of French leaders. Horne's book is popular history at its very best - a gripping narrative, enriched by fascinating anecdotes, told by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject.
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(207mm x 144mm x 27mm)
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Do we really need another book about Napoleon? Actually, the answer is yes. First, Alistair Horne really knows his subject - he has written a biography of Bonaparte. Second, this intriguing book is less about the dictator than the time and place in which he lived: the France he inherited, fresh from the chaos of revolution, and more pertinently, its capital, Paris. Horne talks in some depth about Napoleon the man but, more importantly, he analyses Napoleon's attitude to government and his judicious use of bread and circuses to woo the people during the crucial 1795-1820 period of his brilliant but bloody reign. Where Horne is particularly strong is in painting vivid visual landscapes, contrasting the lavish interiors favoured by Josephine with the foetid streets of Paris, and giving a very real impression of the real lives of both civilians and soldiers under Napoleon's reign, and answering such questions as why few important French writers emerged during this period. This is the antithesis of a dry history book, full of facts and dates and, although authoritative, conveys an entertaining and compelling picture (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Alistair Horne
Alistiar Horne is the author of 10 books on French history including, most recently, Seven Ages of Paris (Macmillan). His books have been translated into over 10 languages. He was knighted in 2003 (Queen's birthday honours) for services to Franco-British relations.