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"Napoleonic Novels" Topic

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Sir Able Brush23 Mar 2020 11:02 a.m. PST

Here's a review of The Battle


What other novels are out there?

Korvessa23 Mar 2020 11:59 a.m. PST

I have one called "The Grenadier – A story of the Empire"
My copy is very old, I got it from my older brother who go tit from a public library sale in the early 60s. It was old then. I am sure it was written in the 19th century.
A quick google search shows reprints available.
I read it as a pre-teen (I think) and that seems to be the intended audience. I haven't read it for a long time, but as I recall there are some historical inaccuracies (Imperial Guard Cuirassiers, etc.) But it is a fun read.

The basic plot has our young hero being denied his marriage proposal because future dad in law won't let his daughter marry anyone who doesn't have the Legion of Honour. Unfortunately, he is sent to Spain in 1808. Adventures follow.

Schogun23 Mar 2020 12:17 p.m. PST

From the French perspective:
Richard Howard -- The Alain Lausard Adventures
Bonaparte's Sons
Bonaparte's Invaders
Bonaparte's Conquerers
Bonaparte's Warriors
Bonaparte's Avengers
Bonaparte's Horsemen

From the British perspective:
Adrian Goldsworthy
True Soldier Gentlemen
Beat the Drums Slowly
Send Me Safely Back Again
All in Scarlet Uniform
Whose Business is to Die

And who can pass by the classic:
The Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle

There are more. Do a google search.

USAFpilot23 Mar 2020 12:45 p.m. PST

Seven Men of Gascony by R.F. Delderfield

From the perspective of a few soldiers as they campaign throughout Europe.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2020 12:51 p.m. PST

The Proud Canaries by David Johnson a Napoleonic cavalry historian. It is a novel about Lasalle, told through the eyes of a fictional aide-de-camp.

It was also published under the title Sabre General. Sabre may be spelled er.

A great book. I have read it 3-5 times.


BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2020 1:17 p.m. PST

You could also consider Marbot's 3 volume set as it reads so easily…..

Basha Felika23 Mar 2020 1:26 p.m. PST

Several of Robert Blackwell's books about the exploits of Thomas Flashman (uncle of the infamous Harry) are set during the Napoleonic Wars.

While not (yet) as good as the GMF originals, they're well-written historical romps (with the most recent recounting how he managed to survive the Alamo).

Robert le Diable23 Mar 2020 2:06 p.m. PST

Some titles to be tracked down in future. USAFpilot, as I remember it, Delderfield uses the clever structural device of basing each chapter (or maybe each part?) on a drawing -described, not shown as an illustration- made by one of the seven during one campaign or another. Good to see Marbot getting two mentions already.

Wargamorium23 Mar 2020 2:19 p.m. PST

I have only ever read about 2 or 3 novels in the last 55 years but one is Seven Men of Gascony by Delderfield which is definitely worth the read

PaulB23 Mar 2020 2:33 p.m. PST

Seven men of Gascony is my favourite.
Tom Connery wrote 3 novels about marines, all have honour in the title.
Simon Scarrow 4 novels about Wellington and Boney
McDonough Limits to Glory about Waterloo
Iain Gale Four days in June
Gareth Glover Voices of Thunder
Donald Thomas The Flight of the Eagles
Erckmann-Chatrian The Napoleonic Novels 2 vols.
That lot should keep you happy for a bit.

Ravenfeeder23 Mar 2020 2:34 p.m. PST

Starts out in the Revolutionary War but I know the author plans to extend the series to the Napoleonic Period.
The Kings Germans by Dominic Fielder
Book 1. The Black Lions of Flanders (currently FREE on Kindle)
Book 2. The King of Dunkirk
Book 3. The Queen of Citadels (not yet published)

arthur181523 Mar 2020 2:54 p.m. PST

Death to the French! Rifleman cut off from unit works with guerrillas.
The Gun Spanish partisans retrieve abandoned field gun and use it against French, [filmed as The Pride and the Passion with Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant and Sophia Loren, with a very different story!]
Both by C. S. Forester, also author of the Hornblower series.

Ed von HesseFedora23 Mar 2020 3:09 p.m. PST

Peter Youds "Ties of Blood" series is excellent!

Also 105th Foot. The Prince of Wales Own Wessex Regimen (4 book series) by Martin McDowell.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2020 3:17 p.m. PST

_Death to the French_ was published in the US as
_Rifleman Dodd_.

Mike the Analyst23 Mar 2020 3:33 p.m. PST

Too few for drums by Delderfield

ConnaughtRanger23 Mar 2020 4:10 p.m. PST

I seem to remember some other chap wrote 20-odd best-selling novels about the Napoleonic Wars – some may have been turned into an extensive prime-time TV series (just one of the very many set during the period?).

Lieutenant Lockwood23 Mar 2020 5:11 p.m. PST

At the risk on being immodest:
"Lieutenant James Lockwood at Waterloo"
"Lieutenant and Mrs. Lockwood"
"Captain James Lockwood"

All available on Amazon!

Best regards….Mark Bois

14Bore23 Mar 2020 5:19 p.m. PST

Got though almost all the O'Brien series but stuck trying to find Sharpes Trafalgar

Cavcmdr23 Mar 2020 7:15 p.m. PST


Four days in June by Iain Gale is hard to put down.

Currently reading Captain Coignet on my Kindle for 99p. He rose through the ranks of the Old Guard learning to read at age 34!

Have fun

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2020 5:52 a.m. PST

Conan-Doyle's 'Brigadier Gerard' stories have been
mentioned, but his novel has not.

_The Great Shadow_ (and 2 short stories, one of Brigadier
Gerard) was published IIRC in 1859.

It is available as a free download at the Gutenberg
Project site.

Dave Jackson24 Mar 2020 8:24 a.m. PST

The Scarlet Pimpernel and sequels


John Tyson24 Mar 2020 1:26 p.m. PST

Here is an excellent series by Martin McDowell. I'm now reading the fifth book in the series, which has just recently come out.

Book 1: Worth Their Colours
Book 2: Close to the Colours
Book 3: The Plains of Talavera
Book 4: Walls of Badajoz
Book 5: To the Walls of France

This series follows the fictional 105th Foot. I've thoroughly enjoyed every book. I like them every bit as much I did the Sharpe's series. I read them on my Kindle.


MaggieC70 Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2020 4:34 p.m. PST

From my never humble perspective, Napoleonic historical fiction falls into three distinct categories.

There are the tried-but-true rah-rah Boys' Own John Bull types of books, usually in a series, featuring every conceivable permutation of British soldiers and officers schlepping around in the Peninsula and then on to Waterloo.

There is the veritable tsunami of salt-water sagas featuring the entire British Navy saving the seas--and probably the whole world--from the evil French.

There is an incredibly small collection of novels that actually feature the era from the French point of view. One would think the French might show up more, at least because were it not for Napoleon, where would all the above-mentioned novels be?

And finally, there are the Napoleonic novels written by women. While some of them include some warfare, and most of it is amazingly inaccurate, the majority is reserved for romance. Avoid at all costs. Unless you are short on toilet tissue during this COVID-19 crisis.

It is a travesty that good writers of good historical fiction don't or won't see past Spain/Portugal, Waterloo, and Russia. Boring beyond belief, and almost a crime to ignore all those amazing campaigns routinely ignored.

I don't recommend much Napoleonic era fiction. I have way too much fun shredding most of it on Amazon and Goodreads.

Ed von HesseFedora26 Mar 2020 6:36 a.m. PST

I really liked reading Armand Cabasson's three military mystery books set in 1809, 1812, and 1814 from the French perspective.

Officer's Prey
Wolf Hunt
Memory of Flames


MaggieC70 Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2020 12:43 p.m. PST

Agree! I've read all three, and they are very good, even in translation.

Were it not for Rambaud and Cabasson, I suppose the French would not be heard from.

MaggieC70 Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2020 12:43 p.m. PST

Agree! I've read all three, and they are very good, even in translation.

Were it not for Rambaud and Cabasson, I suppose the French would not be heard from.

Ed von HesseFedora26 Mar 2020 3:04 p.m. PST

There's the Alain Lausard books, and a couple about an American in French service by Art McGrath


They're ok…

John Edmundson27 Mar 2020 1:37 a.m. PST

Um, War and Peace . . .


arthur181527 Mar 2020 3:07 a.m. PST

They say history is written by the winners, so it's perhaps not surprising that there are so many novels written from the point of view of British – especially if the author's target audience are Anglophones.

My son recently bought me a graphic novel in French that he found on a visit to France. It features an unwilling conscript who falls in with some stragglers during the Waterloo campaign, and rescues a farm girl from the unwanted advances of one of them, while the battle is going on elsewhere. For all I know, there may be many other such books, but they are not published in English.

I heard Bernard Cornwell speak at the Napoleonic Fair years ago: having said that the Sharpe series was besically about "killing 'Frogs'" he remarked that his books didn't sell well and France, adding with a grin, "I really can't think why!"

I suspect MaggieC70's analysis of the genre might apply equally to novels about the American Revolution and ACW written for an audience in the US, and to those set in WWII.

4th Cuirassier27 Mar 2020 8:46 a.m. PST

Has anyone taken a census of French language novels about the Napoleonic Wars, apart from Les Mis? I don't think the lack of novels in English from the French perspective can be taken to mean there aren't any.

MaggieC70 Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2020 12:18 p.m. PST

Les Mis is not about the Napoleonic Wars or the French Revolution. It occurs in the early 1830s.

4th Cuirassier27 Mar 2020 12:20 p.m. PST

Yebbut ole Victor mention the morne plaine in it…

Historydude1827 Mar 2020 2:22 p.m. PST

So wish Jeff Shaara would do a Napoleonic trilogy. His novels are the best.

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