Napoleonic Europe Bibliography

1800 to 1816

copyright 1997 by Historical Novelists Center

One of the contenders for Most Written War. There is so much on the subject, we can hardly scratch the surface. However, most of it is strictly on military matters: *Wine Casks of the Northern Allies of Napoleon* or *Deadly Footing: the Effect of Plowed Fields on the Old Guard at Jena*. Historical novelists rarely need this sort of micro-research, unless of course, your character is in the Old Guard at Jena, or is supplying wine to the Belgians. Also, most historians in English seem unable to see any acreage outside France, England, and perhaps the Peninsula during this period. Trying to find out more about the social life of Prussians or Italians at this time makes researchers grey.

As usual, check the Atlas of Civilization series for the era, especially The Cultural Atlas of France.

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Arnold, James

All Drawn By Horses *****!
Newton Abbott, Long & NY; David & Charles, 1979
Good text with line drawings by the author, and an invaluable 2-page glossary of coach terms. Freight wagons as well as phaetons; in fact, heavier on the wagons, which do all the duty of trucks, while on the streets of old only the richest had the carriages equivalent to cars. T2

Ashton, John

Social England: volume II, The Dawn of the Nineteenth Century ****
Word & Downey, 1890; repub. E. P. Publishing Ltd, East Ardsley, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, 1975
Covers a great range of subjects with many cartoons and caricatures, from 1800 to 1810. Vol. I covers from 1810 to 1815, only to the escape of Napoleon from Elba. T2

Austin, Paul Britten

1812: The March on Moscow *****!
Greenhill, 1993
Superb evocation of life in the Napoleonic armies, caught in over a hundred eyewitness reports of all ranks. T2

1812: Napoleon in Moscow
Greenhill, 1995
Picks up where the previous volume left off, in the same fine style. Includes the horrendous retreat back to France. T3

Blaze, Capt. Elzear

Life in Napoleon's Army: The Memoirs of Captain Elzear Blaze ****
Greenhill, 1995
Excellent overview of an officer's life and army operations. T2

Boucher, Francois

Twenty Thousand Years of Fashion; the History of Costume and Personal Adornment ***
Harry N. Abrams, 1966; 440 pg, index, glossary
Very good in this era. T1

Bray, Peter, editor

Transport Through the Ages **
Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc., NY, 1971; illos by Barbara Brown
Covers a bit of everything, from dugout canoes on. Emphasis on later periods. T1

Brett, Gerard

Dinner is Served ***
Archon Books, Hamden, CN, 1968
British meals of the day and their conduct; Part Two covers 1660 to 1900. French Society is not that much different, and finding a book in English on French meals is daunting. T2

Brockett, Oscar G.

History of the Theatre ***
Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1977
Good university-level text on staging conventions, acting forms, audience behavior, etc. T3

Bruce, Evangeline

Napoleon & Josephine: An Improbable Marriage ****
Kensington, NY
Extremely valuable if you are going to concentrate on Josephine rather than the Little Corporal. T2

Burgess, Robert F.

Ships Beneath the Sea: A History of Subs and Submersibles ****
McGraw-Hill, NY, 1975; 260 pg, index, bibliography
One of the earliest working submarines, the Nautilus (after whom Verne named Nemo's) was built by Robert Fulton, in France, for Napoleon. This is the only place we have seen its story told. T2

von Clausewitz, Carl

The Campaign of 1812 in Russia ****
Da Capo, 1995
Written by a man of the period, this contains many eyewitness accounts, which may not be accurate but certainly give you the feel you need for the action. T3

Davies, David

Nelson's Navy; English Fighting Ships, 1793-1815 ***
Stackpole Books
After Hornblower, and Aubrey and Maturin, and at least one other series set on British ships of this period, we confess to being burnt on the whole subject. But this is good reference on both the mechanical aspects of the ships and the life aboard. T2

Deacon, Richard

The French Secret Service ***
Grafton Books, 1990; 363 pg, index, bibliography
Chapter 5 is on the activities during the French Revolution, Chapter 6 on Fouche'. T2

Delbrueck, Hans

The Dawn of Modern Warfare: History of the Art of War, volume IV *****!
University of Nebraska Press, 1990, trans. Walter J. Renfroe, Jr.; orig. 1923; 487 pg, index
From the late 1400's through the Napoleonic Wars, the most detailed and clearly written exposition of the development, theory, practicality, and organization of armies. T2

Duffy, Christopher

Fire and Stone: The Science of Fortress Warfare, 1660-1860 ****
Hippocrene Books, NY, 1975; now from Greenhill
Well-written, well-illustrated and well-designed. The Fortess Wargame for Miniatures is tactical fun while teaching you how things can work or go wrong. The other appendix, on how to tour old fortifications, is good if you get to make the research trip. T2

Durant, Will & Ariel

The Age of Napoleon *****!

1975; now from MJF Books, NY; 870 pg, index, bibliography
The last volume of *The Story of Civilization*. Discusses everyone and everything. Thick, physically and intellectually, yet readable as always. Highly recommended that you read this early on, not long after deciding to write in the period. One of the few easy-to-find sources in English for Europe outside France and England, but still much too light on the Prussians and Austrians. T1

Durova, Nadezhda

The Cavalry Maiden: Journals of a Female Russian Officer in the Napoleonic Wars ***
1836; Paladin Grafton Books, NY, trans. by Mary Fleming Zirin; 242 pg, index, bibliography
The fairly truthful account of Durova's years in the Russian cavalry, with the knowledge and approval of Czar Alexander. She does omit her marriage in 1801 and the son born in 1803, and cuts off her age the years those seem to have taken up, which tells you a lot about her enjoyment of that interlude. Other than that, very accurate, if highly subjective. Introduction and other side matter by Zirin is very interesting. T3

Forester, C. S., editor

The Adventures of John Wetherell ****
Penguin, 1995; 276 pgs
How an Englishman who was impressed into the navy and captured by the French kept a diary up is one question not answered. Wetherell did, and here it is in all its detail, edited by one of the great Nelsonian Navy novelists, including Wetherell's chance to meet Napoleon. T3

Herold, J. Christopher

Mistress to an Age ****
Time-Life Books, NY; 1958
NOT a picture book. A lively detail biography of Madame de Stael, one of the feminists and bluestockings of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods, detailed as to dates, places, and persons whenever possible, including friends like Mdm. Recamier. T2

Hogg, Ian V.

The History of Fortification ***
St. Martin's Press, NY, 1981
Clear, interesting and accurate overview from 7000 BC through the 1970's, well illustrated with photos and diagrams; bibliography and glossary. T2

Inglis, Brian

Trance: A Natural History of Altered States of Mind ****
Paladin/Grafton Books, London, 1990
A history of animal magnetism, mesmerism, hypnotism, and related phenomena, especially the parts that do not fit materialist scientism. Details the researchers and their studies through this century. T3

Ingraham, Holly

People's Names: A Cross-cultural Reference Guide to the Proper Use of Over 40,000 Personal and Familial Names in Over 100 Cultures *****!
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, NC; 1997; 613 pgs, index, select annotated bibliography
The Contemporary half will do for all of Europe at this period, providing wide choices of individual and family names, with proper orders and procedures.. T1

Kohler, Carl

A History of Costume ****
Dover Publications, Inc., NY
Hand-sized, info-packed, based on surviving clothes first and artwork secondarily. Author's line drawings of construction and detail. Neophytes should use with a picture book, which it will greatly clarify. T1

Lachoque, Henry, & A. S. K. Brown

The Anatomy of Glory: Napoleon and His Guard ****
Greenhill, 564 pgs
Detail "biography" of the development of the Imperial Guard and its relationship to the Emperor. T3

Morriss, Roger

Nelson: The Life and Letters of a Hero ****
C & B
Compiled from Nelson's letters, this gives an unusually first-person interior view of the admiral the British have raised on so high a pedestal since his death in battle. Required reading if he is to appear in your book as more than a walk-by. T3

Parkinson, C. Northcote

Britannia Rules: The Classic Age of Naval History, 1793-1815 ***
Royal Naval Museum
Valuable coverage. Check it out if you are unfamiliar, though it may be almost too basic for Hornblower/Aubrey-Maturin fans. T1

Osprey Military Books

We recommend that you first read a general book on the uniforms and military of this period, just so you know where you are going in the nearly 50 Osprey books, which are rarely at libraries and run $9-$13 apiece. Don't let the size (40-65 pg) mislead you: these are dense monographs for military buffs, and will tell you more than you can almost stand to know about their subject. There are illustrations on almost every page, with about a dozen special colour paintings emphasizing the uniforms.
You must simply decide which of the many you need. There are so many men in uniform, few stories can avoid some. Look for these books wherever unpainted lead soldiers are sold. They are numbered by the publisher, which we include to make locating them easier for you. T2

Men-At-Arms Series:

Rotherberg, Gunther E.

Napoleon's Great Adversary: Archduke Charles and the Austrian Army ****
Sarpedon, 1995
For all of you screaming with frustration that everything's the British or the French, a little light in the darkness. Here's the political and military detail on the army most continuously in combat with the French, their victories and their few but disasterous losses. T2

Salmonson, Jessica Amanda

The Encyclopedia of Amazons: Women Warriors from Antiquity to the Modern Era *****!
Paragon House, NY, 1991; 290 pg, no index, bibliography
In France, many women served in the army openly, or with the connivance of their lovers (husbands, sweethearts, etc.) and comrades. Elsewhere, secrecy and diguise were in order, except among the guerrillas of Spain. T2

Seward, Desmond

Napoleon and Hitler, a Comparative Biography *****!
Simon & Schuster, 1988; 319 pg, index, bibliography
One of the best biographies of either that I have read. Explores their decisions, personalities, and attitudes. Outside of a five-pound detail biography -- you know, the kind that discusses Josephine's menus in detail and the lives of the farmers that provide the raw ingredients -- this is your best look at the personality of Buonaparte before he began to build his own legend in exile. T2

Surtees, William

Twenty-Five Years in the Rifle Brigade ****
Greenhill, Napoleonic Library; 450 pgs
Autobiography of a British soldier who fought in the Peninsular Campaign, the Netherlands, and against the US in the War of 1812. T2

Thompson, J. M.

Napoleon Bonaparte *****!
Barnes & Noble, NY
Gives a less simplistic view than many in a detail biography that covers his conquests country by country. T2

Thompson, W.F.K., editor

An Ensign in the Peninsular War; The Letters of John Aitchison *****!
Michael Joseph, 1995; 352 pages.
Aitchison served as a junior officer throughout the Peninsular War, and wrote letters that would give a modern censor conniptions, they are so full of military information. T3

Walter, Jakob

Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier *****!
This is the only known personal record by one of the many unwilling draftees into The Grand Army -- in this case a young German stonemason. See how this affects the constant praises of the Emperor found elsewhere! T2

Waugh, Norah

Corsets and Crinolines *****!
Theatre Arts Books, NY, 1954
Underpinnings, 1600's to 1925, in period art. T3

The Cut of Men's Clothes 1600-1900 *****!
Theatre Arts Books, 1964
The most fashionable men's dress, in period illustrations, with tailor's patterns, period comments on colours and fabrics, etc. Superb. T3

The Cut of Women's Clothes, 1600 to 1930 *****!
Theatre Arts Books, 1968
The same for women. Both books show fastenings! T3

Wilson, John Lyde

The Code of Honor; or Rules for the Government of Principals and Seconds in Duelling *****!
1838; now Ray Riling Arms Books Company, Philedelphia, PN, 1971
This is the expanded version of 1858. The author (1784-1849) was the 22nd Governor of South Carolina. A precise explication of the reasons for duelling, and the gentlemanly behavior required. T3

Wise, Arthur

The Art and History of Personal Combat *****!
Arma Press, New York Graphic Society Ltd., Greenwich, CN, 1971
Necessary for proper duelling techniques and behaviors, also good on the fencing forms in use. T2


The Duellists *****!

Based on the story by Joseph Conrad, about two soldiers in the army of Napoleon, followed out into the peace, after. Perfect costumes and backgrounds, fight arranging by William Hobbs absolutely authentic and realistic, proper conversation and duelling conventions. Leave the sound on and get immersed. T3

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H-GIG Historical Times & Places ***

A thorough-going linksite maintained by the University of California at Riverside, H-GIG sorts by area, by era (ancient, Medieval, early Modern, Modern<yours>, and 20th C), or by topic (military, women, etc.). It's a good place to start a hunt for books and essays online.


The Phrenology Page ***

"Phrenology is the science which studies the relationships between a person's character and the morphology of the skull." Includes a historical overview, definitions of words and concepts, and images with meanings of various characteristics.

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