Napoleon's Road to Glory
J. David Markham
David Markham is not only a world renowned Napoleonic expert,
but he is also a huge fan of Napoleon Bonaparte.
seen him on a number of documentaries and you can guarantee that
whenever there's a curly question about the little general you
can depend upon Markham to find the most positive aspect to the
his biography of Bonaparte, Napoleon's Road to Glory, Markham
has written a very readable volume on the life and times of Napoleon
is detailed and will give those interested in the Napoleonic Era
a really good overview of what went on, together with some of
the intrigues, jealousies and great (and not so great) characters
of the period.
covers his early life, education, his prospering during the French
Revolution, Toulon, Josephine, the Egyptian campaign, the years
of the Consulate, Italy, his political and social reforms, becoming
emperor, economic warfare, the disasters in Spain, the invasion
of Russia, his battle for survival in Germany, his first abdication,
Elba, the 100 Days campaign, Waterloo, then St Helena and his
has highlighted lots of information that I did not know before
- including the reason Napoleon crowned himself - and explains
concisely how he managed to unite a fractious France under his
rule and his social and economic reforms.
military campaigns are covered, but not in as much detail and
they could have been. Markham has concentrated more on the political
and social than the martial.
Road to Glory is a fine biography that gives interesting insights
into Napoleon's career and personality, but it is fair to say
that Markham doesn't apply the blowtorch of criticism to him.
was a great man, but he was no angel.
was enlightened, but autocratic. Ruthless, yet could be compassionate.
He did monumental things and gave his name to history as possibly
the greatest political and military leader of all time. His achievements
are not lessened by his flaws and mistakes.