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  • Napoleonic Fiction

    I'm sure we've all read our share of fictional novels staged during the Napoleonic Era, I am interested to know which any of you would consider your favourite.
    Would it be the Sharpe series, Hornblower, the Kydd series (which are excellent), the Alain Lausard series, even Jack Aubrey, are there any out there not well known, with the hero from France, Spain, Russia, Portugal in fact from any nation. would love to know about them.
    Last edited by Post Captain; 28 Sep 07, 13:38.
    Never Fear the Event

    Admiral Lord Nelson

  • #2
    Kydd has been around for atleast four years or so. I have read the first four and really enjoyed them but my local libraries don't have any of the other ones. How about the Lord Ramage series or Bolitho series by Alexander Kent. Never actually read the Bolitho series but I hear it is good. I heave read the first ten novels in the Ramage series and they are great.
    Last edited by Airchallenged; 28 Sep 07, 14:28.
    "We Will Stay Here, If We Must All Go to Hell Together"
    -Col. John R. Cooke, 27th NC

    Avatar: My Grandfather on the right. His twin on the left. Their older brother in the middle. In their Navy Blues

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    • #3
      For a far more political view the Roger Brook series by Denis Wheatley covers from the very start of the revolution to Waterloo from the view of an English spy who spends most of his life in French politics & service meeting everyone who was anyone in that time frame. I found the book covering the terror particularly grim especially since there doesn't seem to be a lot of fiction in it.

      Wheatley himself was an odd character, He served in the Artillery most of WWI & was gassed at Passchendaele & served in WWII as well including being involved with planning the Normandy landings. He was a bit of a nut/expert about the occult which makes for some uneasy reading in some of the books.
      There is a huge amount of background to the fiction which if you can filter the personal bias "His historical analysis is coloured by his politics, but is well informed" out is very informative.

      Hornblower was the one I grew up with so is probably favourite for old times sake.

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      • #4
        C.S. Forester is my favorite. Not only was he an able writer of historical fiction, but nonfiction as well, most notably, The Age of Fighting Sail.

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        • #5
          "You do very well, my friends, to treat me with some little reverence, for in honouring me you are honouring both France and yourselves. It is not merely an old, grey-moustached officer whom you see eating his omelette or draining his glass, but it is a fragment of history. In me you see one of the last of those wonderful men, the men who were veterans when they were yet boys, who learned to use a sword earlier than a razor, and who during a hundred battles had never once let the enemy see the colour of their knapsacks. For twenty years we were teaching Europe how to fight, and even when they had learned their lesson it was only the thermometer, and never the bayonet, which could break the Grand Army down. Berlin, Naples, Vienna, Madrid, Lisbon, Moscow--we stabled our horses in them all. Yes, my friends, I say again that you do well to send your children to me with flowers, for these ears have heard the trumpet calls of France, and these eyes have seen her standards in lands where they may never be seen again."

          http://www.classic-literature.co.uk/...gadier-gerard/
          The long toll of the brave
          Is not lost in darkness
          Over the fruitful earth
          And athwart the seas
          Hath passed the light of noble deeds
          Unquenchable forever.

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          • #6
            While I make no claims to a wide expertise in this fiction, I think the Sharpe series is fantastic. Its historical accuracy married to a gripping, realistic story is great.
            "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - attributed to Edmund Burke

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            • #7
              I started reading Sharpe in the mid eighties and was instantly hooked, i now have every title, and found that i enjoyed "prey" and "Trafalgar" the most.
              Another series i enjoy are the Kydd novels by Julian Stockwin, a set of stories about a pressganged sailor called Thomas Kydd, who gradually makes his way up the promotion ladder, eventually making the giddy leap to naval officer.
              Never Fear the Event

              Admiral Lord Nelson

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              • #8
                Personally O'Brien's books are my first choice: what a beautiful and accurate picture of the life at sea during napoleonic wars!
                "I do not say they cannot come; I merely say they cannot come by sea."
                First Lord of the Admiralty St Vincent to the House of Lords

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                • #9
                  I'm very interested in the Alain Lausard series by Richard Howard. Anyone know if it's any good?

                  Thanks in advance.
                  My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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                  • #10
                    Patrick O'Brian is unquestionably first in my book (no pun intended).

                    Though, I'm reading War and Peace right now, and highly recommend it for all Napoleonic War buffs.
                    Ship of the Month: USS McFaul (DDG 74)
                    Click Here for More Info

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Consul View Post
                      I'm reading War and Peace right now, and highly recommend it for all Napoleonic War buffs.
                      Now that is what I call a really excellent recommendation that will stand the test of time. Read Tolstoy and learn about Napoleonic warfare from the Russian perspective but also enjoy the master and learn about people and about life. Let Natasha's charm enchant you, charge with Sasha's cavalry regiment and after the campaign come home with him to the bosom of his family. So many scenes that stay with you and all other discerning readers.
                      Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 30 Sep 07, 05:32.
                      BoRG

                      You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zouave View Post
                        I'm very interested in the Alain Lausard series by Richard Howard. Anyone know if it's any good?

                        Thanks in advance.
                        http://www.personal.usyd.edu.au/~sla...ge/lausard.htm

                        This might help Zouave, you might enjoy the books because they are based on a group of Dragoons.
                        Never Fear the Event

                        Admiral Lord Nelson

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AIrchallenged View Post
                          Kydd has been around for atleast four years or so. I have read the first four and really enjoyed them but my local libraries don't have any of the other ones. How about the Lord Ramage series or Bolitho series by Alexander Kent. Never actually read the Bolitho series but I hear it is good. I heave read the first ten novels in the Ramage series and they are great.
                          I have read most of the Bolitho books by Alexander Kent (real name Douglas Reeman). They are certainly worth the read, though the books written up to the end of the 80s are better than the more recent ones.
                          "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mike brown View Post
                            http://www.personal.usyd.edu.au/~sla...ge/lausard.htm

                            This might help Zouave, you might enjoy the books because they are based on a group of Dragoons.
                            Thanks for sharing the link, but, unfortunately, the comments I have seen so far are not particularly good.
                            Last edited by Zouave; 30 Sep 07, 13:30.
                            My avatar: Center of the Cross of the Légion d'honneur (Legion of Honour) of the First French Empire (Napoleonic Era), 3rd type (awarded between 1806-1808). My Légion d'honneur. :-)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                              I have read most of the Bolitho books by Alexander Kent (real name Douglas Reeman). They are certainly worth the read, though the books written up to the end of the 80s are better than the more recent ones.
                              Yeah I have to finish Ramage and find the rest of the Kydd novels somewhere before I start these. I can go through two Ramage in a week in the summer. My neighbor owns the entire Bolitho series so I don't have to go to far to borrow them.
                              "We Will Stay Here, If We Must All Go to Hell Together"
                              -Col. John R. Cooke, 27th NC

                              Avatar: My Grandfather on the right. His twin on the left. Their older brother in the middle. In their Navy Blues

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