The Battle of Maida 1806
© Pen & Sword
From the publishers:
A nation's history is littered with conveniently forgotten defeats and military disasters but it is unusual for significant victories to be ignored. Richard Hopton takes a look at the long overlooked defeat of Napoleon's forces by General Sir John Stuart at Maida, southern Italy, in 1806. For many years the only hint that there had been a triumph there has been the residential area of north-west London that derives its name from the battle.
Following Ulm and Austerlitz, Napoleon's reputation for military genius was fast becoming a morale problem for his opponents, in the same way that Rommel's prowess did some 240 years later. No small part of the significance of the Allied victory at Maida in 1806 was the proof it offered that the French under Napoleon were not invincible.
Place and publisher: Pen & Sword
Date of publication: 2012
Number of pages: 208
This week’s book(s):
Description: First published by George Philip in 1987, this book is published in 2015 with new material as part of the introduction.
From the publisher's:
"This book offers a fresh view of the most famous man in history. It shows him as a monarch rather than a genius on the battlefield. Although Napoleon arose through the events of the Revolution, he was primarily interested in establishing a dynasty to rank with the Bourbons or the Habsburgs, and in extending his influence throughout Europe.
Philip Mansel's book shows the ruthlessness with which Napoleon sought to achieve these ends. His creation of a court was a calculated act, to enhance his power and prestige. His policy of territorial expansionism was pursued with an arrogance and inhumanity which turned all Europe against him. His brothers and sisters were given thrones and courts in Italy, Spain, Holland and Westphalia, where they alienated most of their subjects.
This account is based on the hitherto unpublished papers of several of Napoleon's courtiers. This contemporary material provides fascinating insights into the careers and characters of those closest to the Emperor, including Duroc, the Emperor's only friend, his second wife, the Empress Marie Louise, Fontaine, his architect, who helped spread the Empire style throughout Europe, and his brother Joseph, one of the few people who had the courage to tell Napoleon when he was wrong.
The Eagle in Splendour shows that personal genius is not enough to establish a monarchy. The heart of the Napoleonic court was a void, because the Emperor was not loved and his regime lacked credibility. The Emperor's domination of Europe was an illusion, killed, like so many of his soldiers, in the Russian snow. As Malraux said to De Gaulle, Napoleon had ‘a very great mind and a rather small soul'."
Place and publisher: London, I.B.Tauris
Date of publication: 2015
Number of pages: 256
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