Greenhill Books: Napoleonic Library

The Anatomy of Glory

Napoleon And His Guard: A Study In Leadership

By Commandant Henry Lachouque

Translated by Anne S. K. Brown

With a New Introduction By Col. John R. Elting (USA, ret.)

The Anatomy of Glory cover


The glory of the Imperial Guard resounds above all others in the annals of war. Created, built and nurtured as a bodyguard for Napoleon, it grew from a brigade of fewer than two thousand men into a virtual army, and became "a human fortress which no one but [Napoleon] could dominate and no enemy could penetrate." And, on such battlefields as Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland, Wagram and Waterloo, it won the laurels of undying fame.

Written by France's foremost historian of the Napoleonic Wars, Commandant Henry Lachouque, and translated and adapted by Anne S. K. Brown, this sumptuous work is enhanced by over 180 illustrations, including 86 plates in full colour.

This new printing from the second, revised edition of Lachouque's masterwork will be especially welcomed by students of Napoleonic history. The plates alone are uniquely valuable as a source of uniform colours and style, and the text provides the definitive history of an elite body of men. With its vivid narrative and lavish illustrations, The Anatomy of Glory can lay justifiable claim to be one of the most magnificent books on military history ever published. The critical acclaim that greeted it upon its first publication provides ample testimony to its reputation:


"This dramatic account of the birth, life and death of the fabulous Imperial Guard tells a stirring story in English for the first time." -Leo Gershoy in The Saturday Review of Literature

"No one but the most presumptuous who wishes to know about the Imperial Guard can afford to ignore this astonishing compilation. The illustrations alone ... are reproduced with a clarity, a beauty, and technical perfection which no one can fad to admire." -Journal of the Royal United Service Institution

"This sumptuous book ... can yield rich rewards to any reader interested in the fabric of leadership. It is a delight to look at and a pleasure to read." - The New York Times

... Not the well-worn history of conquest and defeat, but of the grognards themselves, marching through readable pages." - W. A. Thorburn in History Today

"Anne S. K. Brown has used her knowledge of French history and uniforms to render Lachouque freely and vigorously. Napoleon just happened to be fallible. But the superb apparatus of his fallibility is gorgeously recalled in this volume." - The Scotsman

"...The Anatomy of Glory is a monumental work which must surely be regarded as essential reading by those with an interest in those most elite of all French units, as well as students of the period in general. ...The narrative is alive with numerous extracts and quotations which are used to very good effect...Lachouque's passion is evident throughout...The Anatomy of Glory is both informative and entertaining: a work of unquestionable quality - termed a masterpiece by Elting - and a monumental contribution to Napoleonic literature." - The Waterloo Journal

"...Lachouque and Brown's Anatomy of Glory is a sacred text, dedicated to the worship of a French secular deity, Napoleon Bonaparte, and his ministering angels, the Imperial Guard. Bonaparte strides across its pages, 'a universal genius,' foully betrayed by his marshals but not by his adoring Guard. Beautifully produced, sumptuously illustrated with numerous colour plates, The Anatomy of Glory is a feast for the eyes...This book is a "must" for everyone with an interest in the Napoleonic period, and at £35 it represents good value - copies of earlier editions have been sold for silly prices on the second hand market." - Dr Gary Sheffield, The Journal of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

February 1997 | ISBN 1-85367-264-5 | Price: £35.00/$69.95

Format: 265 x 178mm | Pages: 764

Features: 173 plates, 74 in colour. Fold-out map


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