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Napoleon and Wellington

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Andrew Roberts's "Salisbury" won the Wolfson History Prize in 2000.

About the Author

Andrew Roberts took a first in Modern History at Cambridge. He has been a professional historian since the publication of his life of Lord Halifax , The Holy Fox, in 1991. He contributes regularly to the Sunday Telegraph. Lives in Chelsea, London, and has two children. His Salisbury won the Wolfson History Prize in 2000.


Roberts' study of the two greatest opposing generals of their age instantly recalls Alan Bullock's highly praised Hitler and Stalin. Here we also have two titans who, even though violently opposed, had much in common. This is a highly original revisionist study of the two men and some readers may be surprised by the fresh interpretation placed upon some well-known events. Napoleon praised Wellington's ruthlessness in private but criticised him as a mere "sepoy general" in public; Wellington in contrast publicly lauded the Corsican and his value on the battlefield, but in his correspondence criticised his military techniques. The British General saved Bonaparte from assassination after Waterloo, and Napoleon bequeathed money to the man who tried to kill the Duke (later Prime Minister). This animosity, mixed with admiration, charged the relationship between the two men and lies at the heart of this book. Fortunately Roberts makes light work of the contradictions. The legacy of both men has helped to shape modern Europe and, ultimately, it is this mixed achievement which makes this account so interesting.

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