Napoleon's Greatest Triumph

The Battle of Austerlitz

Napoleon's Greatest Triumph

In 1805 at the end of November, Napoleon decided to launch one more plan to lure the Austrians and Russians into battle, by appearing to order his forces to retreat and letting it be known that he did not want to face his enemies on the field. Eventually, the Allies fell for his plan and decided to attack what they saw as a weakening force, just outside the town of Austerlitz. Napoleon was weaker in numbers, but had had time to plan and examine the battlefield closely; he had his enemies where he wanted them. It was a fiercely contested battle, but Napoleon had the upper hand and destroyed a third of the Russian-Austrian force, with 15,000 casualties and 12,000 prisoners, in comparison he had lost c.8,000 men. He was victorious and regarded it as one of his greatest triumphs, paving the way for French dominance in Europe for the next decade. To understand what happened and why read Battle Story.

Danubia

A Personal History of Habsburg Europe

Danubia

For centuries much of Europe was in the hands of the very peculiar Habsburg family. An unstable mixture of wizards, obsessives, melancholics, bores, musicians and warriors, they saw off – through luck, guile and sheer mulishness – any number of rivals, until finally packing up in 1918. From their principal lairs along the Danube they ruled most of Central Europe and Germany and interfered everywhere – indeed the history of Europe hardly makes sense without them. Simon Winder’s extremely funny new book plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. Danubia is full of music, piracy, religion and fighting. It is the history of a dynasty, but it is at least as much about the people they ruled, who spoke many different languages, lived in a vast range of landscapes, believed in many rival gods and often showed a marked ingratitude towards their oddball ruler in Vienna. Readers who discovered Simon Winder’s genius for telling wonderful stories of middle Europe with Germania will be delighted by the eccentric and fascinating stories of the Habsburgs and their world. Danubia was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2013.

Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe

Danubia: A Personal History of Habsburg Europe

A charmingly personal history of Hapsburg Europe, as lively as it is informative, by the author of Germania For centuries much of Europe and the Holy Roman Empire was in the royal hands of the very peculiar Habsburg family. An unstable mixture of wizards, obsessives, melancholics, bores, musicians and warriors, they saw off—through luck, guile and sheer mulishness—any number of rivals, until finally packing up in 1918. From their principal lairs along the Danube they ruled most of Central Europe and Germany and interfered everywhere—indeed the history of Europe hardly makes sense without the House of Hapsburg. Danubia, Simon Winder's hilarious new book, plunges the reader into a maelstrom of alchemy, royalty, skeletons, jewels, bear-moats, unfortunate marriages and a guinea-pig village. Full of music, piracy, religion and fighting, it is the history of a strange dynasty, and the people they ruled, who spoke many different languages, lived in a vast range of landscapes, believed in rival gods and often showed a marked ingratitude towards their oddball ruler in Vienna. Readers who discovered Simon Winder's storytelling genius and infectious curiosity in Germania will be delighted by the eccentric and fascinating tale of the Habsburgs and their world.

Waterloo

The Battle that Brought Down Napoleon

Waterloo

A masterly and concise reinterpretation of one of the seminal events in modern history, by one of the world's foremost military historians. The battle on Sunday 18th June 1815, near Waterloo, Belgium was to be Napoleon's greatest triumph - but it ended in one of the greatest military upsets of all time. Waterloo became a legend overnight and remains one of the most argued-over battles in history. Lord Wellington immortally dubbed it 'the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life,' but the British victory became iconic, a triumph of endurance that ensured a 19th century world in which Britain played the key role; it was also a defining moment for the French, bringing Napoleon I's reign to an end and closing the second Hundred Years' War. Alongside the great drama and powerful characters, Jeremy Black gives readers a fascinating look at where this battle belongs in the larger story of the tectonic power shifts in Europe, and the story of military modernisation. The result is a revelatory view of Waterloo's place in the broader historical arc.

On the Napoleonic Wars

Collected Essays

On the Napoleonic Wars


Napoleon Bonaparte: pocket GIANTS

Napoleon Bonaparte: pocket GIANTS

In the space of less than twenty years, Napoleon turned Europe upside down. Rising from obscure origins to supreme power by a mixture of luck, audacity and military genius, he was able to harness the energies released by the French Revolution to resolve the internal problems which it had created, before turning his restless ambition to remodeling the political structure of the whole continent in a series of brilliant military victories. He was never able to finally subdue all his foreign enemies, and in the end they came together to bring him down; but by then it was impossible to restore what he had destroyed, or, in France, to destroy much of what he had created. The memory of his epic exploits, carefully refashioned during his last years in exile, haunted Europe for over a century, while the more distant effects of his career changed the whole destiny of the Americas and of the world.

World History

Student Activities

World History


The Battle of Waterloo

A New History

The Battle of Waterloo

This is a masterly and concise reinterpretation of one of the seminal events in modern history, by one of the world's foremost military historians. The battle on Sunday 18th June 1815, near Waterloo, Belgium was to be Napoleon's greatest triumph - but it ended in one of the greatest military upsets of all time. Waterloo became a legend overnight and remains one of the most argued-over battles in history. Lord Wellington immortally dubbed it 'the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life', but the British victory became iconic, a triumph of endurance that ensured a 19th century world in which Britain played the key role; it was also a defining moment for the French, bringing Napoleon I's reign to an end and closing the second Hundred Years' War. Alongside the great drama and powerful characters, Jeremy Black gives readers a fascinating look at where this battle belongs in the larger story of the tectonic power shifts in Europe, and the story of military modernisation. The result is a revelatory view of Waterloo's place in the broader historical arc. Black sets this battle in the context of warfare in the period, and not only that of Napoleonic Europe. He also uses Waterloo to explore the changing nature of war, the rise and fall of Napoleon's empire, and the influence of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars on the 19th century. Drawing on all the latest scholarship, Jeremy Black brings this thrilling story - and the world in which it is set - vividly to life.

An Encyclopaedia of Napoleon's Europe

An Encyclopaedia of Napoleon's Europe

This is a complete encyclopdia intended for people who are interested not only in Napoleon, but in the t urbulent period between 1797 to 1815. '