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"This Dark Business: The Secret War Against Napoleon" Topic

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487 hits since 7 May 2018
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 May 2018 9:21 p.m. PST

"Between two attempts in 1800 and 1804 to assassinate Napoleon Bonaparte, the British government launched a campaign of black propaganda of unprecedented scope and intensity to persuade George III's reluctant subjects to fight the Napoleonic War, a war to the death against one man: the Corsican usurper and tyrant.

This Dark Business tells the story of the British government's determination to destroy Napoleon Bonaparte by any means possible. We have been taught to think of Napoleon as the aggressor – a man with an unquenchable thirst for war and glory – but what if this story masked the real truth: that the British refusal to make peace either with revolutionary France or with the man who claimed to personify the revolution was the reason this Great War continued for more than twenty years? At this pivotal moment when it consolidated its place as number one world power Britain was uncompromising. To secure the continuing rule of Church and King, the British invented an evil enemy, the perpetrator of any number of dark deeds; and having blackened Napoleon's name, with the help of networks of French royalist spies and hitmen, they also tried to assassinate him.

This Dark Business plunges the reader into the hidden underworld of Georgian politics in which, faced with the terrifying prospect of revolution, bribery and coercion are the normal means to secure compliance, a ruthless world of spies, plots and lies.
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arthur181509 May 2018 2:55 a.m. PST

Interesting.I can think of several posters on the Napoleonic Boards who will love this!

foxweasel09 May 2018 3:11 a.m. PST

This definitely has the makings of another 300 post epic, with quite a few DHings for good measure.

MaggieC7009 May 2018 6:05 a.m. PST

I have always snickered at the idea that this campaign against Bonaparte from late 1799 through the Caudodal nonsense in early 1804 was a secret. The British archives runneth over with pertinent documents, as so the AN and FA archives in Paris.

Yet both nonfiction and historical fiction continue to flog this idea of secrecy.

Clayton's book should be interesting, possibly as an adjunct to Elizabeth Sparrows' older and often flawed study of British spies. His premise, at least from the blurb quoted here, sounds a tad bit purple. The truth, as always, lies somewhere between the extremes.

ancientsgamer Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2018 6:10 a.m. PST

Funny how Napoleon is a tyrant and ogre but Louis 14 and 16 are beneficent monarchs. Quite sure the first kings of both countries weren't exactly voted unto office either.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 May 2018 1:16 p.m. PST



Brechtel19809 May 2018 2:57 p.m. PST

I ordered it so I'll let everyone know how it is.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2018 9:59 a.m. PST

We wait…. (smile)


Sebastian Palmer Inactive Member05 Jun 2018 12:17 a.m. PST

This looks fascinating. I have the book Tim Clayton co-authored with Sheila O'Connell for the British Museum, 'Bonaparte and the British', which is (I think) very good. Hope to get/read it when it comes out. Thanks for sharing.

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