Napoleon Series Archive 2014

Re: Napoleon Beginner
In Response To: Napoleon Beginner ()

Hi Jason and welcome to the Napoleonic history world. I am a moderate knowledge person with regards to Napoleon. I have been into Napoleon since I was 11 (26 now) so have read hundreds of books on him by this point. However I am certainly not an expert (I have no books written about Napoleon, I am a CPA). There are some things that you will discover as you become deeper involved in Napoleonic history. First, books on Napoleon are like books on Ronald Reagan (my other great interest) in that there is a school of thought that thinks N was overall a good influence (Kevin falls into this) or that he was an egotistical conquerer with no thoughts other than to better himself. There are very few moderates. British authors tend to paint N in the latter (the whole Nelson and Wellington single handedly destroyed the great Napoleon blah blah blah). Charles Esdalie has some good books from that school of thought (he dedicated one book to his kids saying he hopes they never see a Bonaparte in their lifetime).

Personally I like David Gates. He wrote a good introductory book on the Napoleonic Wars called "The Napoleonic Wars." He has a moderate view and looks at Napoleon fairly without painting him as a saint. His other book "The Spanish Ulcer" is a GREAT book on the Pennisular War covering everything rather than just the British-French fights. "Swords Around a Throne" is the THE book on La Grande Armee and a good read. Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon is like the Napoleon bible as others may have suggested. The Napoleonic Wars were so long and diverse that they are sectioned off into different campaigns. The Austrian War of 1805 and 1809, the Pennisular War, the Russian Campaign, the 1813 Campaign, 1814 French Campaign and of course Waterloo have plenty of books. Scott Bowden has some good ones on the Austrian war of 1805, 1809 and the 1813 campaign. (I believe they are called "Austerlitz the Glory Years," "Armies on the Danube" and "Napoleon's Grande Armee of 1813")

Anyways there are some suggestions. Good luck!

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