'A brilliant biography which will surely become a classic life of Napoleon.' The Times
Napoleon Bonaparte's character and achievements have always divided critics and commentators. In this compelling new biography Frank McLynn draws on the most recent scholarship and throws a brilliant light on this most paradoxical of men - as military leader, lover and emperor.
Tracing Napoleon's extraordinary career, Mc Lynn examines the Promethean legend from the Corsican roots, through the years of the French Revolution and the military triumphs, to the coronation in 1804 and ultimate defeat and imprisonment. Napoleon the man emerges as an even more fascinating character than previously imagined, and McLynn brilliantly reveals the extent to which he was both existential hero and plaything of Fate; mathematician and mystic; intellectual giant and moral pygmy; Great Man and deeply flawed human being.
“One of the year's best biographies... A compelling portrait of one of history's greatest figures”
Catherine Lockerbie, Scotsman
“McLynn writes with considerable verve: his pithy characterisations of Napoleon's subordinates, the alternating chapters of narrative and analysis, the dramatic set-pieces...all these combine to make his biography pleasurable and highly instructive to read”
Brendan Simms, Evening Standard
“McLynn offers an admirably clear narrative, neither adulatory nor debunking. He acknowledges and displays the extraordinary tale and does not hide the pettiness”
Alan Massie, Daily Telegraph
“A robust, well-paced biography which pans confidently from the seventeen-year-old child educated by Jesuits to the ruins of the imperial grandeur and death by slow arsenic poisoning on a bleak St Helena”
Colin Cardwell, Scotland on Sunday