In 2013 I collected twenty-one and read six of Mark Black’s A Very Brief History series; while I have enjoyed these I sadly only read one in 2014. In an effort to remedy this in 2015 I had a mooch through the editions I have left and picked Napoleon Bonaparte.
Before reading this I had of course heard of Napoleon Bonaparte but other than the battle of Waterloo and the rumours that he was apparently short I knew almost nothing about him. Black does discuss Napoleon’s childhood, family, marriages and children however the vast amount of this book is about the political and physical battles he waged. I am not a huge fan of battles but it was interesting to see just how many battles and wars he was involved in. Napoleon fought Austria, Russia, Britain, Spain, Italy, several regions which we now know as Germany, other French people and even the Vatican. He also made moves into the Middle East and North Africa in particular he was after the British territory of Egypt. No wonder Europe, particularly Britain, were so keen to stop him.
This brief history of Napoleon Bonaparte is broken down into chapters on his early life, his military career, his campaigns and invasions, his time as Emperor of France, and finally his exiles, abdication, death and legacy. Now this is called a very brief history and they aren’t lying if you are someone looking for an in-depth history of Napoleon you won’t find it here. While many battles are named here not much depth is gone into. However I thought it was a good introduction that could give you a good idea of what you might want to read more about. Personally I would like to read more about his private life.
I am glad I discovered Mark Black and his A Very Brief History series in 2013. Sadly since then I have neglected this series even though I have plenty more editions on my Kindle. I thought Napoleon Bonaparte was clear, concise and well-written. Each chapter was an easy bite-size length and the chapters flowed really well. Previous editions have not taken me long to read and neither did this one. It took me a couple of sittings to finish off as I dipped in and out of it between other books. A good read for when you don’t have a huge amount of time. I easily squeezed one or two chapters in before bed each night.
Napoleon Bonaparte is a simple introduction to this infamous man’s life, military career and political intrigues. I recommend to those interested in reading more about history. I really must get on with reading the other thirteen editions I have from this series. Okay read.
Have you read any non-fiction or fiction about Napoleon?