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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Napoleonic Era

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Napoleonic Era Discuss the many wars fought around the globe around the time of Napoleon. This forum is dedicated to the memory of Ben Weider and our late friend and long time ACG Staff member, Michael Brown, better known here as Post Captain.

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  #526  
Old 15 Aug 13, 06:14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilinYuma View Post
Err, I think that that's called a "misprint" or "typo", Paul!
If you want to see a real, seriously professional misprint, though, look at the first Hussar section in the late, great Y.W. Carman's British Army Headdress, Cavalry. He quotes a remark by "J.A. Atkinson in his Pictorial Representation of the Dress and Manners of the English." You'll never find it on the internet. Atkinson is the artist who is not cited on the title page. The author is William Alexander who is also not mentioned on the title page. Finally the title is not "Pictorial Representations...", but "Picturesque Representations...", so I guess that even the best of us can get it wrong. It's a lovely book, BTW; here's the link: http://archive.org/stream/picturesqu...ge/n7/mode/2up
One back for the many that you've given me.
Cheers,
Phil
Cheers Phil,

I love the Chimney-Sweep on the 1st of May (Plate XXI). On reading the caption, Dick Van Dyke came to the fore. And the caption for the 95th Rifleman (Plate XXVII), has the author justifying employing such dastardly 'assassin' types. Great stuff

Paul
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  #527  
Old 19 Aug 13, 09:20
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Couple days ago bought "Les aigles en hiver" by Jean-Claude Damamme. Good book except beginning and ending of it where author mainly wrote his judgment of events and it`s hard to believe that he is "leading researcher and specialist of Napoleonic era" based on his style of making judgment...
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  #528  
Old 21 Sep 13, 23:36
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For someone who knows very little about the Napoleonic era, what is a good book to at least get an over view of Napoleon, where he came from, and his battles and campaigns? I would prefer something readable and accurate. The subject seems so vast it's hard to know where to get started. I thought perhaps some knowledge of who Napoleon was and what he did would be a good start. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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  #529  
Old 22 Sep 13, 02:14
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I've done it again!

I forgot to post an appraisal of The Bloody Fields of Waterloo by M.K.H Crumplin.

The book is well illustrated throughout with some interesting plates maps and photographs and the book is well written, but the thing is, is that of the books 270 pages, 148 to 251 are taken up by appendix that are numbered I to XI that lists all the names of those of the medical staff present at or after the Battle of Waterloo with the major players getting a page or two of their date of birth and death, service history and in some cases, their accomplishments in civilian life.

There are individual case details (pages 83 to 144) of those wounded, Regiment by Regiment; giving accounts of the type of wounds, how the patient fared and what his fate was. Many are of notable officers like William de Lancey Alexander Gordon and some not so well known, and a few other ranks. There are just two accounts of French casualties, one being Jean Larrey, the other, Francois de Gay of the 45e Ligne.

The rest of the book is made up of: The contents, Forward, by Peter Snow, Acknowledgements and preface. The First chapter (page 11 to35) of the Medical Aspects of the Campaigns [sic] 15-18 June 1815. A rather informative few pages (36 to 56) on the organisation of the Medical staff of the Regular army 1661-1815. From page 57 to 59, we have The Medical Department of the Ordnance
And from page 60 to 82, Aftermath of Victory.


Was the book worth the £35.00 ($56.00 U.S) that I paid? The answer is No! Even though the photos and illustrations are very good and there are many of them, It doesn't justify the price I paid and certainly not the initial release price of £45.00 ($62.00)

I must post This:

In the book, there is a photo of a church memorial to Edwin Griffith who died At Waterloo.

It says:

Sacred to the memory of Thomas Grffith Esq of Rhual who died. June 18th 1811.

Of Henrietta Maria his wife, who died June 18th 1813.

And of Edwin their youngest son, Major in the 15th Light Dragoons. Who, on this day so fatal to his family. June 18th 1815 Fell in the Thirtieth year of his age pierced through the breast by five honourable wounds, while gallantly leading his Regiment....

He had an older Brother Watkin Griffith, who, also serving under Wellington, was killed leading the 29th Light Dragoons in 1803 at Laswaree in India. He like his brother, was 30 years old and died of the same wound to the thorax by cannon fire.



Fate in life and death can throw up some very surprising coincidences.

Paul
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  #530  
Old 18 Oct 13, 00:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny87kz View Post
For someone who knows very little about the Napoleonic era, what is a good book to at least get an over view of Napoleon, where he came from, and his battles and campaigns? I would prefer something readable and accurate. The subject seems so vast it's hard to know where to get started. I thought perhaps some knowledge of who Napoleon was and what he did would be a good start. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Lots and lots of recommendations.

I think Asprey's 2 volume set on Napoleon was pretty good. "The Rise of NB" and "The Reign of NB".

As for the military aspect, you can't go wrong with "The Campaigns of Napoleon", by chandler. It is about 1100 pages but now available on Kindle for around $62. I know because I am thinking of getting it even though I have the hard copy.

If there is a particular campaign you are interested in I am sure we can provide a number of recommendations.

At present, I am reading
"Waterloo: The French perspective." If you have read about the battle already I think that this is an excellent addition. The book presents a little more insight into what was happening in the French army during the battle. Most books tend to rely too much on the english perspective.

Given the title of the book I wondered if it was going to be as pro-french as most others have been pro-british. I have been pleasantly surprised at the even handedness of the book.
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  #531  
Old 18 Oct 13, 17:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambronnne View Post
At present, I am reading
"Waterloo: The French perspective."

Given the title of the book I wondered if it was going to be as pro-french as most others have been pro-british. I have been pleasantly surprised at the even handedness of the book.
Yeah right!

The book is good for French accounts but the author is an opinionated twit.

Paul
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  #532  
Old 18 Oct 13, 17:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
Yeah right!

The book is good for French accounts but the author is an opinionated twit.

Paul


I am not finished with the book, but have found that he has been pretty objective. He has plenty of praise for the british/allied and prussian forces.

His opinions (thus far) have all seemed to be based on eyewitness accounts from both sides rather than just accepting one side as being the sole source of truth.
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  #533  
Old 18 Oct 13, 18:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cambronnne View Post
I am not finished with the book, but have found that he has been pretty objective. He has plenty of praise for the british/allied and prussian forces.

His opinions (thus far) have all seemed to be based on eyewitness accounts from both sides rather than just accepting one side as being the sole source of truth.
Perhaps when you have finished the book we can have a discussion on it.

Paul
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  #534  
Old 23 Oct 13, 17:58
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Just to let you all know that I am half way through Wellington's Rifles by the late Ray cusick. I also have Wellington's guns by Nick Lipscombe which I have had a cursory look. It has 18 maps and 30 Illustrations with some notable action paintings by Dawn Waring and mentions Massena's (Kevin Kiley) tome in the preface and Bibliography.

Wellingtons Rifles is a bit of a misnomer as It's mainly about the development, of the British rifle and light infantry corps as a whole and as things stand, If I were to rate this book I would say it's a less academic version of David Gates, excellent The British Light Infantry Arm, 1790-1815..

As usual, as soon as I have read them I will give a full appraisal.





http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wellingtons-...ngton%27s+guns

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wellingtons-...ton%27s+rifles

Paul
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  #535  
Old 29 Oct 13, 09:13
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With Napoleon In Russia
The Illustrated Memories of Faber du Faur 1812

Just got this from Amazon, very nice book with wonderful plates, I recommend for those who like the Russia Campaign
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  #536  
Old 29 Oct 13, 18:01
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I'll have to check out Asprey's books. They look like what I was looking for, thanks.

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  #537  
Old 08 Nov 13, 13:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
Perhaps when you have finished the book we can have a discussion on it.

Paul

I finished the book a while ago and my opinion is unchanged.
I felt he was even handed in his praise and criticisms. His opinions were supported by sources from each of the armies and I particularly liked where he tried to match observations of the same events from opposing sides.
Could some of his conclusions be wrong? Certianly, but I think that for the most part he supported what he had to say.
My initial concerns that it would be a Pro-French screed were unfounded.

Edited to add: For the sake of clarity, the book is "Waterloo: The French Perspective."
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  #538  
Old 08 Nov 13, 17:36
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Agree. I got the book a week ago and thought the author to be evenhanded in his treatment of the battle and the participants.

Sincerely,
M
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Old 08 Nov 13, 19:37
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Some of Fields diatribes.

Quote:
"most French accounts of Waterloo are every bit as jingoistic as subjective as many of those produced by the British. However, whereas British accounts were taken as the truth on the basis that they won and British officers did not stretch the truth or tell lies (!), the French accounts have been disregarded on the basis that they were poor losers."
And when writing about the account of the supposed breaking of a square by Sergeant Morris, 'who by the way was not a Sergeant or even an NCO at Waterloo'. Something that was easy for the author to check if he had done a tinsy winsy bit of research on this tall story eyewitness.

Quote:
"Whilst many might argue that this is purely mischief-making by a non-commissioned officer from one regiment against another, (in time honoured British tradition), this inter-regimental rivalry is not reflected in any other accounts of the battle and, as we have already discovered, as victors the British were quite prepared to suffer bouts of amnesia when it suited them; particularly amongst the officers."
Just two examples of Field's bad history writing.

Like I said; he's an opinionated twit

Paul
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Last edited by Dibble201Bty; 08 Nov 13 at 21:03..
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  #540  
Old 10 Nov 13, 21:15
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It's good that you lads have been reading this, presumably in book form. I obtained the "kindle" version when it first came out, and found the presentation highly irritating. Perhaps you will tell me whether the book itself was a shambles or whether, and more likely, it was the kindle version that was messed up.
French words spelled with an accent, tend to double up the vowel, though not consistently. Prince Jeeroome is not uncommon, we have at least on geeneeral and "a", as in "a la masse" becomes "ae". There are other irritations such as wandering indentation for quoted passages, but I assume that when the author gets lost in a sentence this is his own problem, though obviously missed, as is so often the case, by the editors of niche military publications.
Field seems to be at his not very exciting best when quoting French sources with which I, for one was unfamiliar. He is at his worst when editorializing. I wonder if his editor did not push him to make "new" or "controversial" comments to give his book more appeal.
His first foray into such speculation is when he decides that Napoleon's vainglorious hectoring of his senior officers before Waterloo, in which he refers to Wellington as a "bad general" was really intended to inspire them and lift their spirits! Can you imagine how inspired someone like Soult or any senior officer who had been defeated by Wellington in the Peninsula would have been to hear that he had been defeated by a third rate commander? If Napoleon was lying, as Field implies, and it certainly would not be his last lie of the day, then he was doing so to remarkably poor effect.
And yes, Dibble, the put down of private William Morris who described the French curassiers' encroachment into the 33rd/69th square is preposterous. Later, Morris mentions the failed attempt of the 69th to pretend that they didn't lose their colour at Quatre Bras, surely a general source of merriment among the infantry, but even so, he points out that, overwhelmed by superior numbers, there was no shame in their losing it.
And so it goes.
Cheers,
Phil
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