Napoleon The Great Book Summary By Andrew Roberts

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Book Name: Napoleon The Great (How Napoleon Conquered Europe and Changed the World)

Author(s): Andrew Roberts

Rating: 4.7/5

Reading Time: 39 Minutes

Categories: Book Summaries

Author Bio

Napoleon The Great is written by renowned historian and biographer Andrew Roberts.

He has been awarded multiple times for his accomplishments in literature, including The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War and Salisbury: Victorian Titan.

Roberts is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, which is a testament to his skill and talent in this field.

His book on Napoleon The Great is set to be just as well-received as his previous titles.

With its in-depth research and compelling narrative, this book promises to be an entertaining read!

Listen To The Story Of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte: A Biography

Napoleon the Great is an amazing story of power and ambition, but the perfect way to get the full experience is by listening to Bedtime Biographies’ audio version.

It offers so much more than just text alone can convey.

In this introduction to Napoleon Bonaparte’s incredible story, you’ll learn about his remarkable background, his drastic rise to power, and every detail of every battle that he waged during his time as Emperor of France.

To gain a greater understanding and appreciation for this man’s accomplishments it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable before delving into his journey.

How Napoleon Bonaparte Overcame Adversity To Become A Hero Of France

Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica on August 15, 1769.

His parents, Carlo and Letizia di Buonaparte, had Italian roots and belonged to the noble class of the island.

At a young age, Napoleon was sent to prestigious French mainland school: the Royal Military School of Brienne-le-Château.

There, he felt like an outcast due to his background.

As a result, he dedicated himself to his studies in order to prove himself, coming to master Latin, weaponry and history.

By aged 16 he had already finished his education with flying colors and became one the youngest officers in the French army.

At this point France was undergoing the changes brought by its own Revolution; while most of Corsican nobility supported the king’s side, Napoleon chose instead to support the Jacobins – then one of the most radical antiroyalist groups – showing even at a young age an affinity for revolutionary ideals.

This loyalty to France soon saw him promoted as an artillery commander.

One of his first missions saw him fighting British forces at Toulon’s port city alongside other revolutionary forces; here Napoleon showed reckless bravery as he developed a plan that led his troops standing victorious against enemy ships.

Reports from contemporaries describe him as an astoundingly intelligent leader; after proving his worth in this battle, he was promoted for General rating awards at just 24 years old – setting in stone what would become one of history’s greatest figures.

The Rise And Fall Of Napoleon’S Military Career; His Love-Hate Relationship With Josephine De Beauharnais

In Chapter 2 of The Great Napoleon, we are transported to a pivotal moment in the future Emperor’s illustrious military career.

After three years studying Italy and devising a daring plan, Napoleon was given the task of driving Austrian forces out of Italy with only 50,000 French forces under his command—a stark contrast to the 80,000 enemy troops.

Napoleon applied this scheme with great success.

On May 10, 1796 near Milan he used just 3,500 French soldiers to outflank 9,500 enemy combatants on a bridge outside the city.

This set a string of victories in motion and even put pressure upon Vienna itself.

Soon enough these successes earned him fame across France but also cast unease among government officials who feared Napoleon’s potential threat and so assigned him an unglamorous job in North Africa.

Unfortunately this campaign ended in defeat as extreme weather and desert terrain conditions did not favor European forces, who eventually gave up their charge against Cairo by May 1799, though not without incurring great cost both materially and numeral.

Little did they know that this would be one more stepping stone towards making Napoleon one of history’s greatest generals.

Napoleon Secures European Domination Through His Military Successes

In Chapter 3 of Napoleon The Great, the French ruler executes a dramatic coup against his opponents in the government’s council chambers.

After arguing his plans, which is met with protests from the politicians now led by Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon and his brother are forced to leave the chamber.

Though on the brink of defeat, they find hope when they turn to the council guards for support.

Just then Lucien makes an emotional speech denouncing the council members before pointing a sword at Napoleon’s chest.

This bold move impassions the guard and leads them to forcibly remove all opposition to Napoleon’s new plan.

In this way, the chapter serves as a pivotal point in Napoleons rise to power.

Once he has taken control, he is able to proceed with plans for reform and peace collaboration.

Finally comes his coronation as emperor of France – anointing him with even more power than before – and setting off a series of events that would have long lasting consequences across Europe.

The Devastating Consequences Of Napoleon’S Continental System And His Failed Russian Campaign

In Chapter 4 of Napoleon the Great, readers get an up-close look at the Continental System and Napoleon’s ill-fated Russian campaign.

After enacting the Continental System in order to prevent Britain from trading with other European nations, tensions rise between Russia and France.

This ultimately leads to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812.

Napoleon’s army of 600,000 men was decimated due to disease and harsh conditions, leaving him with just 103,000 men by the time of the Battle of Borodino against Tsar Alexander’s force.

Both sides suffered massive losses but it was ultimately Napoleon who had to retreat from Russia.

As he and his troops marched back from Moscow in a desperate attempt to beat the bitter winter, 140,000 French soldiers perished due to exhaustion and starvation.

Throughout this ordeal, about 524,000 French soldiers were lost altogether.

Upon returning home, it seemed once again that defeat had been snatched out of victory’s jaws for Napoleon.

The Allied forces now held control over Paris.

Louis XVIII returned while exiling Napoleon to the small island of Elba – a move that would later prove devastating for France after nine months away would lead him on a march across Europe which ended with his return as Emperor once again.

If you’re heading off to bed, I wish for your restful sleep and sweet dreams!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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