Britain and the Defeat of Napoleon, 1807-15

Muir, Rory
Date published: 
January 1996

Britain and the Defeat of Napoleon, 1807-15 is the most substantial and penetrating account we have of the last third of Britain's long war against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France. Beginning in the dark days of 1807, when all of continental Europe was under Napoleon's sway, it traces the course of the war through the Spanish uprising of 1808, the campaigns of Wellington and Moore in Portugal and Spain, to the crossing of the Pyrenees by the British army, the invasion of southern France, and the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. The book is based on an exhaustive investigation of primary and secondary sources, and on probably the most thorough examination yet of the papers of the Duke of Wellington. The narrative is vigorously written, and will appeal to academics and students of the Napoleonic era, and to the general enthusiast. There are fresh insights throughout, and the coverage of the financial background of Britain's campaign is largely new. Muir places the war, and the manner in which it was fought, in a wholly modern perspective, based not only on military might, but on the effectiveness of the British economy and the coherence of the nation that sustained it.