Wel­come

All About History - - WELCOME - Jack Par­sons Editor

“He is a bad gen­eral and the English are break­fast!” Napoleon is sup­posed to have pro­claimed of the duke of Welling­ton’s chances on the morn­ing of Water­loo while eat­ing off sil­ver plates and study­ing his bat­tle plans. In just a few hours he would be eat­ing his words.

With hind­sight, Napoleon’s de­sire to come out of ex­ile and re­claim his throne might seem like mad­ness but you have to re­mem­ber that he had beaten worse odds. He suc­cess­fully rose from the rank of cor­po­ral to become ruler of France’s first em­pire. He lost to Nelson at Trafal­gar in 1805 but still went on to con­quer most of Europe. His failed in­va­sion of Rus­sia in 1812 may have led to his down­fall but it took the com­bined ef­forts of 13 na­tions – com­mand­ing an army of over 1 mil­lion men – an­other two years to make him sur­ren­der. With that in mind, you can see why the so-called ‘Night­mare of Europe’ might have per­haps over­es­ti­mated his abil­i­ties.

This is­sue, his­to­rian Charles J Es­daile (au­thor of Napoleon’s Wars) re­veals how Boney es­caped from the is­land of Elba, marched on Paris and re­turned to power for just over 100 days. Ex­plore how the erst­while em­peror con­vinced the French to take him back and where he went wrong at Water­loo from page 30 on­wards.

Find out how rebel as­tronomer Galileo took on the Church from page 54

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