Description: From the publishers:
"How the British state successfully organized itself to overcome Napoleon – and how very close it came to defeat.
For more than twenty years after 1793, the French army was supreme in continental Europe, and the British population lived in fear of French invasion. How was it that Britain survived and won a generation-long war against a regime which at its peak commanded many times Britain's own resources and manpower?
In Britain Against Napoleon, Roger Knight looks beyond the familiar exploits of the army and navy to the politicians and civil servants, and examines how they made it possible to continue the war at all. He shows that the whole British population had to play its part, and that the intelligence war, and the financiers of the City of London, were particularly instrumental. Despite these extraordinary efforts, Britain came much closer than has previously been realized to losing the war against Napoleon, not through invasion but through financial and political exhaustion. The Duke of Wellington famously said that the battle which finally defeated Napoleon was 'the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life': this book shows how true that was for the Napoleonic War as a whole."
Review in The Spectator by David Crane
Review in The Economist
Review in The Guardian by John Barrell
Review in the Financial Times by Lawrence Freedman
Review in the New Statesman by Simon Heffer
Place and publisher: London: Penguin, Allen Lane
Date of publication: 2013
Number of pages: 720