An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french


Magazine and News is a place where, every day, we bring you not only what’s going on in the Napoleonic world and interviews with those leading Napoleonic history today, but we also offer you Napoleonic pastimes, entertainments, and even recipes. Enjoy!

Latest updates :

Musique et parole : An introduction to First Empire music
Interview : Alexander Mikaberidze on Russian Voices of the Napoleonic Wars
Quiz : The major reforms of the Consulate and the Empire (August 2010)
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Each month we present an important recent book, and every week we report on recent publications.
You can also find the books published in previous years by using the scrollbar menu at the bottom of the page. To add one or more books to your «My » account, click on the title(s) and then select «Add to my account».

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HOUDECEK François, ROUCAUD Michel, Du Niémen à la Bérézina: Lettres et temoignages de soldats français sur la campagne de Russie

Description: The history of the Russian campaign is well known; from the crossing from Niemen to Borodino to the charred rubble of Moscow, and the terrible journey to Berezina. But the experiences, the daily life and the sufferings of the men who wrote down their testimonies and were lucky enough to survive it can hardly be imagined today.
It is that which makes the memoirs of the soldiers published in this edition so valuable. Conserved in the military archives, four of the five testimonies have never been seen before. Two centuries after the event, they allow us to hear the voices of the soldiers, what they saw, how they lived, how the army of the 20 nations was formed, as well as first hand accounts of the advance on Moscow. They also describe contact with the Russian people, the bloody confrontation at Borodino, the fire of Moscow and the retreat which decimated the ranks of an army which up to that point had seemed invincible. 
From staff colonel to brigadier to the baggage train, the captain of the Cuirassiers to the sappers or the adjutant of the Chasseurs à Cheval battalion, the careers, level of education, styles and different views of the writers add to the richness of the collection. With an introduction which retells how the campaign unfolded in the light of the most recent advances in historiography, this edition also contains extensive critical material.
Prefaced by Thierry Lentz, director of the Fondation Napoléon and by General Paulus, chief of historical services at la Défense, the book offers a human perspective, totally new and rich in details and anecdotes as well as grand history about the epic which the campaign and retreat from Russia still conjures in the collective memory today.

Place and publisher: Vincennes: Service historique de la Défense

Date of publication: 2012

Number of pages: 289

This week’s book(s):

From the publishers:
"... Here, Cronin and Summerfield put their talents together to produce the finest ever study of early Napoleonic Spanish uniforms... There are over 400 colour drawings including over 104 contemporary illustrations from Ordovas (1805 and 1806), Christopher Suhr, Augsburger and Bradford plus 138 uniform schematics based on Jose Bueno & Lienhart & Humbert; 52 flags and shields are depicted; there is one map, 12 orders of battle and 13 tables. This allows the authors to explore in depth the Spanish Infantry of the period 1798-1811, of La Romana's famous division in Denmark and the troops committed to support the French Invasion of Portugal, which of course resulted in the disastrous collapse of the nation to French forces, but not before the old Spanish Regular Army had fought with distinction particularly at Bailen. This is the one and only book you will need on one of the most exotically dressed armies of the Napoleonic period..."

Place and publisher: Oxford

Date of publication: 2014

Number of pages: 176

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