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"Fighting Napoleon at Home: The Real Story of a Nation at" Topic

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Tango0109 Aug 2023 4:54 p.m. PST

…War With Itself

"From the sun-baked sierras of Spain, through the stormy waters off Cape Trafalgar to the muddy and bloody fields of Waterloo, Britain's soldiers and sailors were notching up victories which set the country on the path to becoming the greatest power on the planet. We like to imagine the country was unified against a common enemy, France, and the Tyrant of Europe – Napoleon. Yet if we scratch the surface, we find a nation not just at war with France but with itself. The great successes of Wellington and Nelson, and the glamour of Regency London, cover over the cracks of a divided society, of riots across the industrial north and widespread political opposition. Huge swathes of the country hated the war, booed and hissed at soldiers and ‘lobbed Bleeped texts' at the Scots Greys in Halifax. There were repeated ‘Peace Petitions' which sought to stop the war – and even to prevent the British Army fighting at Waterloo. Armed Associations of gentlemen volunteers and Local Militias led the call to close down the debate on social and democratic reform, while on the other hand thousands of English reformers heeded the call from France and hundreds actually headed to France, with many thousands more believing that the time had come, when its young men were needed to fight for King and Country, for reform. The burgeoning middle class had no vote in parliament; rapidly expanding industrial towns and cities had no MPs, yet small villages – pocket boroughs – often had two. The burden of taxation fell on those least able to afford it; enclosure of common land; corn laws; restrictions on the freedom of expression; the endless killing, all fed into an undercurrent of political dissent that was ideologically opposed to the loyalist cause. It was a battle for the very sole of Britain. For the first time, the shocking reality of life in Britain, during what is often portrayed as being its greatest era, is told through diaries, letters, and newspaper comments. Fighting Napoleon at Home is a startling portrayal of the society from which the soldiers and sailors were drawn and exactly what it was they were fighting to defend. It will become essential reading for anyone attempting to understand why Britain's aristocracy had to stop Napoleon at any cost and suppress the dangerous ideals of liberté, égalité, fraternité…."


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Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2023 4:15 a.m. PST

Interesting and fresh angle!

Greystreak10 Aug 2023 4:39 a.m. PST

"It was a battle for the very sole of Britain."

Cobblers Unite!

42flanker10 Aug 2023 5:58 a.m. PST

Or perhaps just 'cobblers.'

42flanker10 Aug 2023 6:05 a.m. PST

A touch of dejà vu, peut être</>?
(Hoping I won't get benched again for my reckless use of French)

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Cerdic10 Aug 2023 12:39 p.m. PST

Shock! Horror! The British public didn't like the army!

The truth is, of course, that the British public as never liked the army…

dibble10 Aug 2023 4:03 p.m. PST


Shock! Horror! The British public didn't like the army!

The truth is, of course, that the British public as never liked the army…

Yup! And they also wouldn't give up their country to a foreigner. Especially a French one.

Does Dawson remark on what all this mean't? Like with that other 'British' Lefty indoctrinated, University educated Author, Tim Clayton? I bet he writes a lot but leaves the room before giving any real evidence for anything other than how the British population have reacted at home to the many wars fought abroad. Upto and including the Falklands and other wars in the Middle-East.

Tango0110 Aug 2023 5:32 p.m. PST



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