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Like volume one of Michael Broers’s magnificent biography, The Spirit of the Age is based on the new version of Napoleon’s correspondence, made available by the Fondation Napoléon in Paris. It is the story of Napoleon’s conquest of Europe—and that of his magnificent Grande Armée—as they sweep through the length and breadth of Europe. This narrative opens with Napoleon’s as yet untested army making its way through the Bavarian Alps in the early winter of 1805 to fall upon the unsuspecting Austrians and Russians at Austerlitz. This was only the beginning of a series of spectacular victories over the Prussians and Russians over the next two years. The chronicle then follows the army into Spain, in 1808, the most ill-considered step in Napoleon’s career as ruler, and then through the most daunting triumph of all, the final defeat of Austria at Wagram, in 1809, the bloodiest battle in European history up to that time.
About the Author
Michael Broers is a Professor of Western European History at Oxford University. He is the author of The Napoleonic Empire in Italy, winner of the Grand Prix Napoleon Prize, and Napoleon: Soldier of Destiny and Napoleon: The Spirit of the Age, both available from Pegasus Books. He lives in Oxford, England.
Throughout the book, Broers delivers page-turning accounts of the many military engagements of the time. As in the first book, Broers provides an excellent character study of Napoleon. Readers will eagerly await the third volume.
A brilliantly researched and exquisitely detailed work.
This masterly second volume of Michael Broers’s biography illuminates the middle years of Napoleon’s career. [Broers] brings out unforgettable details. His accounts of Napoleonic battles are suffused with the characters and psychology of their chief protagonists.
Offers a wonderful sense of the genius?and man?who was so stunningly able to remake European boundaries. Among the plethora of Napoleon biographies, this is immensely engaging.
Breathtaking. The best—and certainly the most original—scholar writing in this field writing in English. Broers succeeds admirably.
The great strength of Broers’s book arises from its detail, empathy, and even-handedness. He presents his information clearly and sometimes even lyrically. This is a serious work, the product of reflection as well as research befitting a distinguished professor of Western European History at Oxford.