Reviews: Biographical Books


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Asprey, Robert
The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte
Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

The first full length biography on Napoleon of the new century.

The Reign of Napoleon
Reviewed by James D. Gray

A disappointing look at the last years of Napoleon's military career…

Bromley, Janet and David
Wellington’s Men Remembered: a Register of Memorials to Soldiers Who Fought in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A lifetime study of the memorials and monuments to the men who fought with Wellington…

Browning, Oscar
The Boyhood and Youth of Napoleon

Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

Young Napoleon on the eve of greatness…

Carrington, Dorothy
Napoleon and His Parents: on the Threshold of History

Reviewed by Tom Miller

The Bonapartes before Napoleon. . .

Chambers, Barbara J.
Men of the 1st Foot Guards at Waterloo and Beyond

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

An in-depth “labor of love” look at the British 1st Foot Guards…

Chrisawn, Margaret
The Emperor's Friend: Marshal Jean Lannes
Reviewed by Kevin Kiley

The first full length biography on Marshal Lannes in English.

Cronin, Vincent
Napoleon Bonaparte: An Intimate Biography

Reviewed by Susan Howard

A classic biography that skates lightly over Napoleon's faults. . .

Elting, Colonel John R.
Reflections on a Friendship and the Writings of Colonel John Robert Elting
Reviewed by Kevin Kiley

There have been many great and near-great historians that have passed down their work and words to us, but in recent history, none, in my opinion, have been greater than Colonel John R. Elting...

Englund, Stephen
Napoleon: A Political Life

Reviewed by Christopher Gibbs

One of the best works on Napoleon's politics...

Gengembre, Gerard
Napoleon: The Immortal Emperor
Reviewed by Tom Vance

Stunning showpiece in any Napoleonic library.

Gash, Norman
Lord Liverpool: The Life and Political Career of Robert Banks Jenkinson Second Earl of Liverpool 1770-1828
Reviewed by Robert Markley

A biography of the "forgotten" Prime Minister who guided Britain through the final, triumphant years of the Napoleonic Wars...

Godechot, Jacques
The Napoleonic Era in Europe
Reviewed by Robert Mosher

A classic book on Napoleon.

Gueguen, Emile René
Napoleon: Humanitarian and Man of Peace
Reviewed by Ira Grossman

Former paratrooper Gueguen sees Napoleon positive light. . .

Grubin, David
PBS Series Napoleon
Reviewed by Kevin Kiley & Howie Muir

Reviews by Kevin Kiley and Howie Muir that were winners in the "Review Contest" run in conjunction with the airing of PBS' "Napoleon" in the U.S., November 2000.

Hamilton, Jill
Marengo: The Myth of Napoleon's Horse
Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

Jill Hamilton traces the history of Napoleon through the horses he rode...

Haswell, Jock

The First Respectable Spy: The Life and Times of Colquhoun Grant Wellington's Head of Intelligence
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A biography of Wellington's most famous "exploring officer"...

Haythornthwaite, Philip J.
Waterloo Men: The Experience of Battle, 16-18 June 1815
Reviewed by Yves Martin

Yes, yes, yes, all of you leap to the news! Here's a brand new book on a brand new topic, and one that has been scarcely covered. OK, I'll stop my cynicism. Waterloo sells.

Heathcote, T. A.
Wellington’s Peninsular War Generals & Their Battles, a Biographical and Historical Dictionary
Reviewed by Ron McGuigan

This work helps to bridge the gap in our knowledge of Wellington’s campaigns in the Peninsula by presenting the top senior commanders in one place.

Wellington’s Peninsular War Generals & Their Battles, a Biographical and Historical Dictionary
Reviewed by Anthony Gray

A useful overview of the 41 general officers who served with Wellington…

Hore, Peter (ed.)
Nelson’s Band of Brothers: Lives & Memorials
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A biographical dictionary of the 79 captains who commanded Nelson’s ships…

Johnson, Paul.
Napoleon: a Penguin Life

Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

Napoleon, father of all our ills…

Lapray, Olivier. 
A Dictionary of the Cuirassier Officers of the First Empire, 1804-1815

A unique look at the officer corps of one branch of the Grande Armée. . .

Ludwig, Emil.
Napoleon

A review of what is arguably THE classic biography of Napoleon…

Luvaas, Jay.
Napoleon on the Art of War

Luvaas presents a unique compilation of the thoughts of Napoleon…

Macdonald, Jane
Sir John Moore: The Making of a Controversial Hero
Reviewed by Kevin Kiley

An insightful new life of the often over-looked soldier and organizer of light infantry, Sir John Moore…

Markham, J. David
Napoleon's Road to Glory: Triumphs, Defeats & Immortality
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A fast-paced tour of Napoleon's life…

McCavitt, John and Christopher T. George.
The Man Who Captured Washington: Major General Robert Ross and the War of 1812
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

The first full length biography of the man who burned the White House.

Metternich, Clemens, Furst von. 
Metternich: the Autobiography, 1773 - 1815
Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

Metternich's final word. . .

Morewood, John.
Waterloo General: the Life, Letters and Mysterious Death of Major General Sir William Ponsonby 1772 – 1815

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Waterloo General: the Life, Letters and Mysterious Death of Major General Sir William Ponsonby 1772 – 1815
Reviewed by Steve Brown

Rare biography of a “forgotten” Waterloo hero…

Muir, Rory
Wellington: The Path to Victory, 1769-1814
Reviewed by Steve Brown

Destined to be the standard biography of the Iron Duke...

Wellington. Waterloo and the Fortunes of Peace, 1814-1852
Reviewed by Donald Graves

Superb finish to a comprehensive new two-volume biography of Wellington…

Murchison, Arthur
War before Science: Sir Roderick Impey Murchison’s Youth, Army Service and Military Associates during the Napoleonic Wars

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

An unusual biography of a soldier who became a renowned scientist. . .

Ryan, Edward
Napoleon's Shield and Guardian: The Unconquerable General Daumesnil

Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

The first biography in English of the man credited with twice saving Napoleon's life.

Ridley, Ronald
Napoleon's Proconsul in Egypt: The Life and Times of Bernardino Drovetti
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Throughout much of this period, the French interests were guarded by Bernardino Drovetti, a former officer in the Piedmontese army, who served first as the assistant consul general and then as the consul general. During the twenty-six years (1803 - 1826) he lived in Egypt, Drovetti was a diplomat par excellence.

Sabiston, Andrew & Williams, Timothy
Napoleon, The Musical
Reviewed by William Peterson

Napoleon, The Musical is a noble effort, well worth seeing...

Schom, Alan
Napoleon Bonaparte: A Life
Reviewed by Kevin Kiley

Should this Napoleonic history be consigned to the dustbin of history?

Sydenham, Michael J.
Leonard Bourdon: The Career of a Revolutionary, 1754-1807
Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

A look at the ups and downs of the career of a "second level" participant in the French Revolution...

Victor, Maria P.
Liberty or Death! The Life and Campaigns of Richard L. Vowell, British Legionnaire and Commander – Hero and Patriot of the Americas

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A British volunteer who fought for South American liberty…

Winterbottom, Derek
The Grand Old Duke of York: A Life of Frederick, Duke of York and Albany 1763-1827

Reviewed by Ron McGuigan

A modern look at a sometimes vilified, sometimes forgotten member of the Royal Family…

Woolgar, C.M. (editor)
Wellington Studies II
Reviewed by Rory Muir

A new collection of scholarly essays on the Duke of Wellington's career...



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