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Books: Best Books/Links on The Napoleonic Era

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  • Seize the Fire by Adam Nicolson is an exceptional book on the culture and institutional nature of the major navies during the Napoleonic wars.

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    • Dear All,

      Recently, I (James R. Arnold) was on a Napoleonic panel devoted to 1809. I was there to promote a new edition of my "Crisis on the Danube: Napoleon's Austrian Campaign of 1809". The other members were also Napoleonic authors. Someone asked about "Blundering to Glory", which, I see is the first book mentioned in this thread. Our consensus, the book was badly off base. We also agreed that Chandler's "Campaigns" (full disclosure, he was a friend of mine and my last book, "Crisis in the Snows Russia Confronts Napoleon: The Eylau Campaign 1806-1807" is dedicated to his memory) remains the single best overview of the era. For what it is worth, I also agree that Elting's "Swords Around the Throne" (full disclosure, Elting did not think much of me after I criticized one aspect of his work in an academic review) is a fine read. Regardless of viewpoint, as a new member on this site, I am glad that my favorite period continues to generate passion.

      James

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      • Originally posted by napoleon books View Post
        Dear All,

        Recently, I (James R. Arnold) was on a Napoleonic panel devoted to 1809. I was there to promote a new edition of my "Crisis on the Danube: Napoleon's Austrian Campaign of 1809". The other members were also Napoleonic authors. Someone asked about "Blundering to Glory", which, I see is the first book mentioned in this thread. Our consensus, the book was badly off base. We also agreed that Chandler's "Campaigns" (full disclosure, he was a friend of mine and my last book, "Crisis in the Snows Russia Confronts Napoleon: The Eylau Campaign 1806-1807" is dedicated to his memory) remains the single best overview of the era. For what it is worth, I also agree that Elting's "Swords Around the Throne" (full disclosure, Elting did not think much of me after I criticized one aspect of his work in an academic review) is a fine read. Regardless of viewpoint, as a new member on this site, I am glad that my favorite period continues to generate passion.

        James
        Mr. Arnold,

        Welcome to the forums. It is great to have a great writer such as yourself here. I recently read your book on Marengo and highly recommend it. I am looking forward to your book on Eylau when it finally gets here.
        Rumour has it that you have a book on Friedland in the works. Is that true?
        If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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        • Mr.Arnold,

          You are most welcomed to our Forum. We are a big and happy family.

          Btw, have you ever considered publishing a book on the 1813 campaign?
          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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          • I Agree! welcome to our forum Mr.Arnold and please do stick around
            as it is always nice to have authors like you here.

            Regards
            James

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            • Update from Napoleon Books

              Dear All,

              Thank you for your kind words. My website: www.napoleonbooks.com has an update on progress on the Friedland Campaign. Thereafter, I am not sure. My personal preference is to write about places I have seen. So, Bonaparte in Italy 1796-97 but I don't know if there is a market. Other possibilities are 1806 -- Jena was a much more sternly contested battle than is generally realized -- and 1813. The problem with the latter is, of course, a geometric increase in the number of sources that would have to be consulted.

              To the good Count in Belgium: if you ordered "Crisis in the Snows" from us and it has not arrived, please contact me. I do ship to Europe via my co-author in Switzerland, who has a supply our books.

              Again, thank you for your warm introduction.

              James

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              • Originally posted by napoleon books View Post
                Dear All,

                Thank you for your kind words. My website: www.napoleonbooks.com has an update on progress on the Friedland Campaign. Thereafter, I am not sure. My personal preference is to write about places I have seen. So, Bonaparte in Italy 1796-97 but I don't know if there is a market. Other possibilities are 1806 -- Jena was a much more sternly contested battle than is generally realized -- and 1813. The problem with the latter is, of course, a geometric increase in the number of sources that would have to be consulted.

                To the good Count in Belgium: if you ordered "Crisis in the Snows" from us and it has not arrived, please contact me. I do ship to Europe via my co-author in Switzerland, who has a supply our books.

                Again, thank you for your warm introduction.

                James
                I wish I was a Count.
                I am playing Comte d'Erlon in our Waterloo campaign which is on hold thanks to a perfidous Prussian. I actually reside in the States.
                If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

                Comment


                • Originally posted by napoleon books View Post
                  Dear All,

                  Recently, I (James R. Arnold) was on a Napoleonic panel devoted to 1809. I was there to promote a new edition of my "Crisis on the Danube: Napoleon's Austrian Campaign of 1809".
                  Was that at Historicon? I didn't have time to attend any panel discussions, too many games (and not a single one played to completion!)

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                  • Dear All,

                    Yes, I was at Historicon to promote the new edition of "Crisis on the Danube" and the brand new wargaming scenario book, "Battles for Empire."

                    The talk I gave about scenario design addressed how to avoid creating games, particularly convention games, that don't get finished. It's sad to see lovely terrain, wonderful figures, and either lousy scenario design or lousy rules. Twenty years ago and more, Napoleonic table top games ruled. Now there are not nearly so many and if you look at the faces of the players you do not see very much joy.

                    Dismounting from my soapbox,

                    I am,

                    James

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                    • "Wellington's Operations in the Peninsula" by Captain Lewis Butler of King's Royal Rifle Corps, I have a copy published in London by T. Fisher Unwin in 1904

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                      • The Hussar General;Life of Blucher. by Roger Parkinson

                        Finished this a few days ago,overall it is a good book that does well in protraying the character of Blucher. It also does well in capturing the relationship between Blucher and Scharnhorst/Gneisenau.

                        I do have some quibbles:

                        1) The maps are hard to follow,only shows arrows with no unit position markings which is annoying. You have to read the texts and then flip over to the map to get an idea of whats going on.

                        2)When it comes to the battles,it only describes whats going on in Blucher's area of the battle. It would be nice to be able to get an idea of the overall battlefield.

                        3)Sources. This a very minor thing and his sources are good,but this book was published in 1975 ten years after Chandler's Campaigns of Napoleon and does not include it in his sources and Parkinson did not use Gneisenau's own bio of Blucher. Very strange.

                        But overall it is an recommended read well worth the time. 4 out of 5 stars.

                        Parkinson also has a bio of Kutusov that I plan on acquiring at the earliest opportunity.
                        If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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                        • Oleg Sokolov " Army of Napoleon "

                          This best and fullest research of army of Napoleon. 585 pages. There is all. Regiments history, a staff, a uniform, arms, tactics, conscription and many other things.

                          Below, some pages from the book.







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                          • This book looks interesting. Do you know if I can get it in English or German?

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                            • In the Europe, the book has been published in France.

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                              • This thread is older than one of my grandaughters, so forgive me if I missed a citattion for Philippe-Paul de Segur's " Napoleon's Russian Campaign".
                                I found it to be a balanced analysis of what was happening on the ground.

                                He is an avowed Bonapartist, yet he is able to cast a critical eye on what he deems to be wrong with the Imperial strategy and in certain cases, the tactics of the campaign.

                                Best regards

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