Delve deeper into Napoleonic history here in our section on the history of the two empires. Alongside a section for those just starting, there are many articles, images with commentary, close-ups and special dossiers for the serious Napoleonic enthusiast.

Latest updates :

In pictures : The crossing of the bridge at Arcole - Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile
Articles : A new Napoleonic campaign for Montereau
Dossier thématiques : A close-up on: the Mexican campaign, 1862-1867


La revue
anglegauche angledroit


Summer Selection 2012


 Bibliographical details

Napoleon and Empire
The British armed forces
Memoirs and correspondence
Fondation Napoléon digital services
What's on


The Napoleonic field of history remains a rich and fertile one, a seemingly endless production line of books, memoirs, and other publications. But which ones should you purchase? Which ones should you be reading? As is our wont at this time of year, we have put together a selection of recent publications (almost exclusively from 2012) on a variety of different subjects. Military history, memoirs, wargaming and the emperor himself all feature. And with a tip of the hat to the growing digital medium, we have included the Fondation Napoléon's digital services as well as links - where applicable - to eBook versions. For those looking to stretch their legs a little, we have also added a selection of events taking place over the next few months. Whether it be books, digital sources, or exhibitions, you will find plenty to keep you occupied here. All items are in English unless otherwise noted.

  Napoleon and Empire

Ted Gott; Karine Huguenaud (eds.): Napoleon: Revolution to Empire (exhibition catalogue)
This panoramic volume, which accompanies the NGV-Fondation Napoléon exhibition "Napoleon: Revolution to Empire", tells the story of French art, culture and life from the 1770s to the 1820s, including the first French voyages of discovery to Australia, the stormy period of social change with the outbreak of the French Revolution, and the rise to power of the young Napoleon Bonaparte and his wife Josephine.

Phip Murray: The Adventures of Napoleon and Josephine
The Adventures of Napoleon and Josephine introduces younger readers to the history presented in the NGV's exhibition "Napoleon: Revolution to Empire". In the spirit of discovery and exploration, Phip Murray's writing transports the audience to Revolution-era France, where she traces Napoleon and Josephine's footsteps across Europe.

Thierry Lentz: La conspiration du général Malet. 23 octobre 1812. Premier ébranlement du trône de Napoléon (in French)
On 23 October 1812, shortly after Napoleon's departure from a Moscow devastated by fire, General Malet, a colourful and adventurous character, attempted to seize power in Paris with the announcement of the French emperor's death and the senate's proclamation of a provisional government. For a few short hours, this outlandish hold-up succeeded in throwing into chaos the tightly-managed order of a regime many thought was more securely founded. 
eBook version

  The British armed forces

David Bromley; Janet Bromley: Wellington's Men Remembered: A Register of Memorials to Soldiers who fought in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo - Vol 1
Wellington's Men Remembered is a reference work which has been compiled on behalf of the Association of Friends of the Waterloo Committee and contains over 3,000 memorials to soldiers who fought in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo between 1808 and 1815, together with 150 battlefield and regimental memorials in 24 countries worldwide. Photographs of memorials are included in a CD Rom inserted in each.

Gareth Cole: Arming the Royal Navy, 1793-1815: The Office of Ordnance and the State
The Office of Ordnance has been ill-served by previous accounts of its role during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Misunderstood and often misnamed, the Ordnance has been seen as inefficient and fatally flawed. By examining the Ordnance alongside other government bodies - the Admiralty, the War Office and the Home Office - Cole offers an account of how and why the Royal Navy was equipped as it was.
Carole Divall: Napoleonic Lives
Two hundred years ago the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars convulsed the whole of Europe. These were key events in the history of the continent, and for Britain, and they are a fascinating field for historical – and family history – research. More records than ever are available on the men who served in the British army during the wars, and on their families: Carole Divall's new book acts as a guide on how to locate and understand these sources, and get the most out of them. 
Philip Haythornthwaite: Redcoats: The British Soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars
What was a British soldier's life like during the Napoleonic Wars? How was he recruited and trained? How did he live on home service and during service abroad? And what was his experience of battle? In this book, Philip Haythornthwaite traces the career of a British soldier from enlistment, through the key stages of his path through the military system, including combat, all the way to his eventual discharge.

John Norris: Marching to the Drums: A History of Military Drums and Drummers
Military drummers have played a crucial role in warfare throughout history. Soldiers marched to battle to the sound of the drums and used the beat to regulate the loading and re-loading of their weapons during the battle. Drummers were also used to raise morale during the fight. This is the first work to chart the rise of drums in military use and how they came to be used on the battlefield as a means of signalling.
eBook version
Jac Weller: Wellington in the Peninsula
In this reprint edition, Jac Weller covers all the battles with the French in which Wellington was involved. Talavera, Busaco, Salamanca and Vitoria are among the famous battles that he brings to life once more.


Andrew Field: Waterloo: The French Perspective
The story of the Battle of Waterloo – of the ultimate defeat of Napoleon and the French, the triumph of Wellington, Blücher and their allied armies - is most often told from the viewpoint of the victors, not the vanquished. Andrew Field has tracked down over ninety first-hand French accounts, most of which have never been previously published in English, and he has combined them with accounts from the other participants in order to create a graphic new narrative of one of the world's decisive battles.
James Smithies; Gareth Glover (ed.): Adventurous Pursuits of a Peninsular War and Waterloo Veteran: The Story of Private James Smithies, 1st Royal Dragoons
Memoirs by dragoons who fought in the Peninsular war are quite rare, which makes Smithies' account even more important. His description of cavalry actions are not filled with heroics, but more the truth of confusion, lucky escapes and great relief to simply survive intact. And Waterloo, his last battle, is seen almost only through his own personal journey; his fear at encountering the cuirassiers and his tactic of riding close to them to prevent them having the room to make their deathly stab; his wounding and capture; his numerous brushes with death whilst being driven to the rear and eventual escape.
Alexander Cavalié Mercer; Andrew Uffindell (ed.): Journal of the Waterloo Campaign
Captain Mercer was in acting command of G Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. His journal vividly describes the campaign, from his landing at Ostend as Wellington's army began to assemble, through the excitement and confusion of the battle itself, and on to the occupation of Paris and the conclusion of the war.

  Memoirs and correspondence

Albert Benhamou: Inside Longwood: Barry O'Meara's Clandestine Letters
Barry O'Meara was the Navy surgeon chosen by Napoleon in July 1815 to follow him to St. Helena as his personal physician. O'Meara's unique position among the captives gave him an insight into their personal routines and thoughts. Despite the restrictions that surrounded Longwood House, O'Meara decided to conduct a clandestine correspondence with John Finlaison, a friend at the Admiralty in London. His letters recorded his private conversations with the illustrious captive, who became increasingly irritated by Sir Hudson Lowe.
Napoleon I; Thierry Lentz (ed.): Correspondance générale de Napoléon Bonaparte : Tome 12 - La campagne de Russie 1812 (in French)
Volume twelve of the General Correspondence of Napoleon Bonaparte covers the single tragic year of 1812. As Napoleon I crossed into Russia territory in June 1812, no-one envisaged anything but success for the Russian campaign. Yet as they went deeper into Russia - with governing the empire becoming harder and harder by the mile - Napoleon and his multinational but ultimately divided army found their campaign bogged down by the Russian tactics and resolve. 
Herbert Maxwell (ed.): The Creevey Papers: A Selection from the Correspondence and Diaries of the Late Thomas Creevey, M.P.
Thomas Creevey (1768–1838) was a Whig politician, diarist and letter-writer, whose papers provide an important source for the history of the early nineteenth century. Although a relatively poor man, he was adept at making friends with important people, and received hospitality and financial help from them. His letters are full of gossip, often indiscreet, giving a vivid picture of the society and politics of the day. 
John Parry-Wingfield: Napoleon's Prisoner: A Country Parson's Detention in France
In 1802 there was a short interlude of peace in the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and France, during which many British of all classes travelled to France. A year later Napoleon resumed hostilities and decreed that all British citizens travelling in France should be interned. These were known as détenus. One such détenu was the Reverend Lancelot Charles Lee, then a fellow of New College, Oxford, who remained interned for eleven years, mainly in Verdun. This book retells his story and features some of the letters he wrote describing his daily life whilst in detention.


Peter Dennis; Terry Shaw: Field of Glory Napoleonic
Field of Glory Napoleonic is written in an approachable and easy-to-learn manner to allow players to concentrate on realistic deployments and battlefield tactics of the early modern era. FOGN will cater for both types of player, with a full point system allowing theoretical battles between balanced armies to be played out, as well as accommodating factual scenarios.

Neil Thomas: Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878
Neil Thomas presents a set of fast-playing rules for wargaming the conflicts that reshaped Europe in the period 1815-78. This often-neglected period includes such significant conflicts as the Crimean War, the Italian Risorgimento, the wars of Bismarck's Prussia against Denmark, Austro-Hungary and France and ends with the Russo-Turkish war.

  Fondation Napoléon digital services

Napoleon.org is the best place on the web if you want to stay up to date on the latest events, news and articles on Napoleonic history. Articles, texts, commentaries and news items are added on a regular basis, and there are plenty of games, fact files, and visit ideas to keep you occupied over the coming months.
Napoleonica. La Revue
Napoleonica. La Revue, the Fondation Napoléon's academic review, now has thirteen issues worth of articles, commentaries and reviews, available in English and in French. The review showcases some of the most recent developments in Napoleonic history and historiography and also features thematic special editions (such as one on First Empire music). All articles can be freely consulted online and downloaded via cairn.info.
The Fondation Napoléon Digital Library
Those searching for digital versions of out-of-print or rare old books need look no further. The Fondation Napoléon's Digital Library features not only a wide variety of books digitised in-house (and consultable via a specially-developed reader), but also a huge, fully-searchable reference library of texts available online.
Facebook users can now find all the latest news and updates from the Fondation Napoléon on Facebook. The foundation's page is added to throughout the week, with photos, videos, links and a lot more available via the service. Even those without a Facebook account can read and open the links and items posted on the page.

  What's on

"Algérie 1830-1862. Featuring Jacques Ferrandez", Paris, France
In the year that marks fifty years since the Evian Accords - which paved the way for Algerian independence - this exhibition, organised by the Musée de l'Armée in association with Casterman, looks back on 130 years of French military presence in Algeria, from conquest to independence.
Until 29 July
"Beresina – Swiss soldiers in Napoleon's Russian campaign 1812", Luzern, Switzerland
This is the story of how the largest and most perfectly tuned war machine ever seen turned into a human disaster. Some 500,000 troops and 200,000 horses with their oxen, cannons and wagons advanced 1000km through sparsely populated and barely passable reaches of land from Königsberg (Kaliningrad) to Moscow, only to then turn around and march the same distance back, all the while being gradually wiped out, both by battle casualties and by geographic and climatic conditions.
Until 19th August

"La Berline de Napoléon: le mystère du butin de Waterloo", Paris, France
After the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon's defeat was compounded by the theft of his berlines and carriages, containing not only his personal effects (such as his hat and grey overcoat) but also a large collection of silverware and medals. The story of these items, which changed hands on numerous occasions between the battlefield and their eventual homes in some of the grandest museums in London, Berlin, Moscow and France, and their journey is retold in this exhibition at the Musée de la Légion d'honneur et des ordres de chevalerie.
Until 8 July
"Carte d'Italie: La prima campagna d'Italia di Napoleone Bonaparte nella carta geografica di Bacler d'Albe", Rome, Italy
On display at the Museo Napoleonico in Rome is a series of six maps designed by Louis-Albert-Bacler-Ghislain d'Albe which cover Napoleon Bonaparte's first Italian campaign. Bacler d'Albe was a designer, cartographer and painter who worked at Bonaparte's side between 1796 and 1814. In 1804, he became head of the state topographical department and was one of the few citizens to be made privy to the emperor's strategic planning sessions.
Until 4 November
"Napoleon: Revolution to Empire", Melbourne, Australia
The exhibition takes a look at France and French society in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century, including notably the rise to power of the young Napoleon Bonaparte and his new wife Josephine. Cementing their place as France's new political and social leaders, who sought to restore stability to their troubled nation, Napoleon and Josephine became great patrons of the arts, sciences and literature. 
Until 7th October
"Théâtres romantiques à Paris", Paris, France
Paris during the first half of the nineteenth-century was to many minds the theatre capital of the world. Every style, from vaudeville to Opera seria to melodrama and pantomime, could be found flourishing in the French capital's theatres. The city, which boasted the Comédie-Française, the Ambigu, the Porte Saint-Martin, and the Théâtre-Italien amongst many others, represented the largest concentration of venues in Europe.
Until 15 July

"Visites impériales 1860-1869 : Napoléon III et Eugénie à Ajaccio", Ajaccio, France
The imperial family made two visits to Corsica during the reign of Napoleon III. The first, on 14 September 1860, involved the emperor and the empress, whilst the second, on 29 August 1869, saw Eugenie and the Prince Imperial arrive on the island to mark one hundred years since the birth of Napoleon I, the dynasty's founder. These two visits had a profound impact on Corsica and were widely covered by the newspapers and journals of the time. This exhibition looks back at these two visits and how they unfurled, using period newspapers, prints and other accounts of the time.
Until 1 July

"The War of 1812 in print", various cities, Russia
A number of museums across the Russian Federation, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Arkhangelsk and the Kalinigrad Regional Museum of History and Art, will be hosting a unique exhibition of engravings depicting the Patriotic War of 1812. 
Until 15 August


Back to homepage

Back to the section homepage

Back to the heading homepage






Add to your selection


 Bibliographical details

Author :




Top of the page

Bulletin | My Napoleon.org | Site Map | Contact us | Add to your favourites | Legal | Napoleon.org - ISSN 2272-1800