I have been looking for an audiobook that explains the Napoleonic period. So I tried Andrew Roberts’s epic, Napoleon the Great. It covers everything you would want to know about Napoleon Bonaparte. 1

It would be hard to understate Napoleon’s historical importance. Before his eventual defeat, he made France the dominate superpower in continental Europe. With all other European states being either relegated to one of his many allies or enemies. The only other powers in European history to rival France’s dominance, where the Roman Empire and Nazis Germany. 1

Roberts somehow manages to summarise complex historical events in an easily to follow narrative. He does this by boiling them down to their bare bones. Then delivering it to the reader in an elegant and concise manor. This is most noticeable when Roberts describes Napoleon’s many battles. In the space of 20 to 30 minutes, he lays out the key events and actions of each individual battle. 1

This approach was not followed when it comes to describing Napoleon’s own deeds and actions. Roberts examines in great detail the motive behind Napoleon’s thinking. By the end of the book, you begin to feel like you know Napoleon intimately. Roberts seamlessly interweaves Napoleon’s own personal story with the wider Napoleonic conflict. 1

I usually try to find faults along with praise for any audiobook I review. However, I can hardly find any faults with Napoleon the Great. It is a great jumping on point for the Napoleonic era, even if a bit brief in places. You could argue that it’s too long book, but it has to be to do any justice to Napoleon. You could say it is too brief, but do you really want a runtime to be over a 100 hours? 1

By Arran Wilkins © 2021 (text only)


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(1) Roberts, Andrew (Author). Thorne, Stephen (Narrator). Napoleon the Great (Audible Studios, 2015) Amazon Audible, Available at: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Napoleon-the-Great-Audiobook/B00T53RNGC?qid=1621339805&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=c6e316b8-14da-418d-8f91-b3cad83c5183&pf_rd_r=JDXPJXH0SQTRRDSB007P [Accessed on 18th May 2021].

(Image) WikiImages. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at https://pixabay.com/photos/napoleon-bonaparte-france-emperor-73543/ [accessed 13rd August 2021].

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