- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: W&N (1 May 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1842127403
- ISBN-13: 978-1842127407
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Napoleon and Wellington: The Long Duel Paperback – 1 May 2003
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.
More About the Author
After his provocative Eminent Churchillians and his magisterial, award-winning Salisbury, Andrew Roberts' Napoleon and Wellington moves further back into the past to examine those titans of early 19th-century Europe. One was revolutionary, one deeply conservative. One aimed to change everything, the other aimed to achieve nothing except to stop the other changing anything. Roberts pre-empts the obvious moan regarding this well-tilled field, by pointing out that this is the first book to examine exactly what the two men thought of each other, and revealing the fascinating contradiction between what they said in public and in private. Roberts' cautious, subtle reading of character, and the narrow focus on just two men--not a mention of Rifleman Harris here--gives the book a novelistic brio. Wellington could be every bit as vainglorious as Napoleon, but Napoleon was unforgiving. Wellington saved Napoleon from execution after Waterloo, but Napoleon left money in his will to the man who had tried to assassinate the Duke. And once Napoleon had gone, Wellington amassed endless trophies of his great enemy--including not one but two of the Emperor's mistresses. Roberts' wry comment: "To sleep with one of Napoleon's mistresses might be considered an accident, but to sleep with two might suggest a pattern of triumphalism..." English readers, who have long lived with the notoriously bitchy comment from another of Wellington's mistresses, that one of their greatest national heroes was, in bed at least, "a cold fish," will be delighted to hear a second opinion from one of these ex-Imperial bed-warmers, that compared to Napoleon, Wellington was "beaucoup le plus fort". So there. Roberts is witty as well as wise, with chapter titles such as "The War for Clio's Ear". And he ends on a provocative, characteristically Euro-sceptic note: Wellington may have won at Waterloo, but today's "politically united Europe led by a centralised (French-led) bureaucracy", represents a final triumph for the Napoleonic vision... touché. --Christopher Hart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Roberts' study of the two greatest opposing generals of their age instantly recalls Alan Bullock's highly praised Hitler and Stalin. Here we also have two titans who, even though violently opposed, had much in common. This is a highly original revisionist study of the two men and some readers may be surprised by the fresh interpretation placed upon some well-known events. Napoleon praised Wellington's ruthlessness in private but criticised him as a mere "sepoy general" in public; Wellington in contrast publicly lauded the Corsican and his value on the battlefield, but in his correspondence criticised his military techniques. The British General saved Bonaparte from assassination after Waterloo, and Napoleon bequeathed money to the man who tried to kill the Duke (later Prime Minister). This animosity, mixed with admiration, charged the relationship between the two men and lies at the heart of this book. Fortunately Roberts makes light work of the contradictions. The legacy of both men has helped to shape modern Europe and, ultimately, it is this mixed achievement which makes this account so interesting. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Although most of what's written here is of a highly conjectural nature, there is little doubt that there was much more of a psychological battle brewing between these rivals than most historians will care to admit. Was Napoleon's "bad-mouthing" of Wellington merely "sour grapes" after Waterloo? Roberts points out that Napoleon was certainly saved from execution after the battle by Wellington, but the Duke probably had alterior motives besides humanitarian reasons.
Roberts gets some good mileage out of the fact that the Europe of today is much more in line with the vision that Napoleon had two-hundred years ago.
Wellington's old-school aristocracy is merely a remnant of the past now. That shouldn't prejudice the reader, however, to favor the Emperor over the Duke. Wellington did have the distinct advantage of out-living Napoleon by nearly forty years although his own political career as Prime Minister of Great Britain was less than successful. Political and military accomplishments aside, Wellington made it a point during his long life to at least publicly admire Napoleon "the general" even if he regarded the ex-Emperor's reforms with distaste. To his credit, despite all the honors and glory heaped upon Wellington after Waterloo, he never bragged about the victory or used it, either publicly or privately, to insult the vanguished prisoner on St. Helena. His real true opinion of Napoleon, like Napoleon's own viewpoint, will never be known. Roberts at least gives us an insider's view on what might have been. It makes one inevitably sorry that these two titans of the 19th Century never had the opportunity to sit down for a nice long chat.
Wellington is obsessed with tiny details, and so respectful of Napoleon's tactics, that he anticipates wide flanking manoeuvres and plans pre-emptive measures against them. Napoleon, by contrast, is a man in ill health. Perhaps unaware of the number of Wellington's true force, delegating responsibility to a level that he has never before adopted. A man of previously great strategies, wearily repeating himself - the best of his army lost in Russia, three years earlier. On the day, Roberts shows us Wellington as the man prepared. The aftermath of Waterloo sees a profound change in both men. Napoleon, wrongly believing Wellington responsible for his exile, becomes bitter and mean-spirited towards the man he once respected. So petty that he even bequests 10,000 francs to Wellington's failed assassin. Wellington, the man actually responsible for Napoleon's continued existence, becomes a somewhat ghoulish collector of Napoleonic ephemera - and spends the rest of his life referencing his greatest battle, either as a 'party piece' or correcting the mistakes of an antagonistic press.Read more ›
This book is highly original and very well written. I bought it at Apsley House, the London home of the Duke of Wellington, once known simply as `No. 1 London'; and it greatly enriched the experience.
Roberts is always interesting, even when he is not being controversial; but it has to be said that the subject matter of this book is more limited than the title might suggest. It is not so much a book about Napoleon and Wellington, as a book about what the two men thought about each other. Still interesting, but if the reader wants a straightforward account of their careers, he should start elsewhere.
There is little here about the political lives, or the civil measures, taken by either man, although one became Emperor and the other Prime Minister - instead the book is mainly about their military campaigns and the contrasting strategies used by each man.
An interesting book, well told, which shows the strange fascination which Wellington seems to have held about Napoleon, and the often disparaging view Napoleon held about Wellington, Waterloo not withstanding. That ii is Napoleon's view of Europe which is largely ascendant today is a fitting ending to the book.However, for me, it is pity that the civil record of each man is not compared and contrasted to anything like the same extent as their generalship
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very informative and entertaining read, with some real insights to the characters involved and unexpected humourPublished 10 months ago by Maria O'Driscoll
This is the second book of Professor Roberts that I have reviewed, the first being his recently published "Napoleon" to which I awarded five stars. Read morePublished 12 months ago by James E. Mckinney
Really brought these two extraordinary characters alive for me. Parallel lives while such different characters. Read morePublished 12 months ago by F. R. Jack
Having already read biographies of both Napoleon and Wellington I wasn't too sure what to expect from this book. I was pleasantly surprised. Mr. Read morePublished on 8 Oct. 2013 by frankie5angels
To begin with, the vendor charged me far too much for packing & postage.I have read other more detailed books on the subject. Read morePublished on 8 Feb. 2013 by Karim
a well written book, subjects brought to life by excellent author. highly recommend to someone coming to these people for first timePublished on 12 May 2011 by phantom
What an excellent book.
After reading a series of four books esposing the lives of Napoleon and Wellington I bought this on the recommendation of the author of those books. Read more
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Historical > 1701-1900
- Books > Biography > Historical > Britain > Military
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Europe
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > France
- Books > Biography > Political > Britain
- Books > Biography > Political > Countries & Regions
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Peninsular War
- Books > History > Europe > Napoleonic Wars
- Books > History > Other Historical Subjects