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The Age of Napoleon

Alistair Horne

8 Reviews

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Universal History, Prose: non-fiction, History

A brilliant short history of the life and times of Napoleon, by the pre-eminent historian of France.

Alistair Horne begins his absorbing account by examining Napoleon's rise to prominence against the background of the French Revolution. He describes Napoleon's brilliance as a general and strategist, culminating in the Battle of Austerlitz, one of the greatest military campaigns of all times. He goes on to discuss the cultural achievements of the Napoleonic era both in France and abroad before charting Napoleon's downfall and his bitter defeat at Waterloo in 1815. The book ends with a discussion of Napoleon's legacy and the myths that have sprung up around this most controversial of French leaders. Horne's book is popular history at its very best - a gripping narrative, enriched by fascinating anecdotes, told by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject.

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Praise for The Age of Napoleon

  • He knows his subject like an old shoe, and loves it like a son ... Horne's comprehensive concision in this field has no peer. - THE TIMES

  • A delightful book, brimming over with contagious enthusiasm for its subject... Horne writes with all the authority of one who knows his subject inside out, and his mastery of telling detail is admirable. - SUNDAY TIMES - Adam Zamoyski

  • Horne's consistently fascinating snapshot of this momentous time and place is compelling from start to finish. - EVERYTHING FRANCE

  • a short but vibrant account... a cultured, enjoyable introduction to the man and the mark he left on France. Horne sports his research lightly, the pigments of his narrative and illustration are vivid, the vignettes swiftly and confidently drawn - BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE

  • Even those of us who think we know something about the period will find many delightful surprises... In short, it is the perfect read for someone who asks the question: apart from being a great general, what did Napoleon stand for? - THE GUARDIAN - Mark Urban

  • Erudite, expert and unfussy, it tells you all you need to know about the modern world's first great dictator and places him in illuminating social and cultural context. - HAM AND HIGH

  • Alistair Horne's The Age of Napoleon is a race through Napoleon's career, not such much as military leader as the maker of modern France. Horne gets the essentials of Napoleon right. - THE SPECTATOR

  • excellent... deals with every aspect of the tyrant's career other than the brutal wars he imposed o

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Alistair Horne

Alistair Horne was educated at Le Rosey, Switzerland, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He ended his war service with the rank of Captain in the Coldstream Guards attached to MI5 in the Middle East. From 1952 to 1955 he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. In 1969 he founded the Alistair Horne research fellowship in modern history, St Antony's, Oxford. His numerous books on history and politics have been translated into over ten languages, he was awarded the Hawthornden prize (for THE PRICE OF GLORY) and the Wolfson prize (for A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE). In 1992 he was awarded the CBE; in 1993 he received the French Legion d'Honneur for his work on French history and a Litt.D. from Cambridge University. He was knighted in 2003 for services to Franco-British relations.