The Return of Napoleon

Paul Britten Austin

Date Published :
July 2015
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Series :
Napoleonic Library
Illustration :
16 pages of b/w plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781848328341
Pages : 320
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


This unique and atmospheric volume presents the dramatic story of Napoleon's escape from Elba and his march on Paris in the words of eyewitnesses and participants. Drawing on hundreds of firsthand accounts by Napoleon's supporters and opponents, Paul Britten Austin recreates the drama of those tumultuous days of the spring of 1815: Napoleon's dramatic landing at Antibes in the south of France, the first heady days of his arrival after almost a year of exile, his almost miraculous march across France, his arrival in Paris, and the coup which led to the fall of the Bourbons.

Paul Britten Austin's technique, so brilliantly presented in his earlierh 1812 trilogy on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, brings historical events to life and gives a dramatic insight into the hopes and fears of the French nation in that spring of 1815.

About The Author

PAUL BRITTEN AUSTIN was born in Dawlish, South Devon. His parents were the writers Frederick B. A. King and Mildred King. He was educated at Winchester College. In 1951, he married novelist Margareta Bergman, sister of film director Ingmar Bergman. They lived in Stockholm, where he worked for Radio Sweden as head of English-language broadcasting. Paul Britten Austin spent twenty-five years researching and writing his vast study of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. His 1815 book follows the same principle of ‘stitching together’ eyewitness accounts to create an exciting narrative.


Considering the enormous amount of attention the Waterloo campaign has received in print, it's surprising that the events preceding the campaign have been practically ignored by English-language authors. Military historians may be deterred by the fact that Napoleon's return to power was a practically bloodless affair however, it certainly wasn't without drama as shown by Paul Britten Austin in this well-written work, reissued under the Frontline Books imprint. From the first day of the "adventure", where the situation at Antibes threatened to degenerate into farce, to the arduous trek through the mountains to Grenoble, to the march on Paris in the face of the royalist army's attempt to concentrate in defense of the capital, the outcome was far from a foregone conclusion. The first chapter describes the landing at Antibes however, this isn't where the story begins, and so the second chapter describes Napoleon's time on Elba in a type of flashback style. The reasons for the return to France, the decision to do so and the subsequent preparations are described. The narrative is written in the present tense which is unusual nonetheless, this adds an extra dynamic to the account. The book is very well researched, as witnessed by the extensive notes and also well written. This version is a high quality hardback with dust cover and includes five maps and twenty-seven black-and-white illustrations.

- 1/72 Scale Plastic Napoleonic Figures

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