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Napoleon I | RISE (1769-1798)

Load the canon, survey the battlefield and hold onto your bicorne as we take aim at Ridley Scott’s ‘Napoleon’ (2023)! Much like Napoleon’s Grande Armée in Russia, we’ve bitten off more than we can chew (in just one episode) so will be delivering up a thrilling trilogy to do justice to the triumphs and follies of the French Emperor who Churchill described as the greatest man of action since Julius Caesar.

Naturally, any person whose name alone is used to describe an entire era (1799- 1815) will divide opinion. Was he a usurping Corsican ogre hell bent on bloody conquest or a military genius and visionary civic reformer embodying the enlightenment on horseback?

Join us in this first episode as we sort fact from fiction while watching Michael and Mark’s blood boil as Ridley Scott triggers history buffs everywhere by firing a grapeshot volley through historical accuracy!

But we’re not just here to talk about Ridley’s bullish disregard for history (no matter how beautifully shot the cinematography is! As usual, we will use the film to delve deep into the compelling real life of this singular character whose whirlwind rise from the fermant of the French Revolution had the old world rulers of Europe trembling in their silk stockings.

We’ll first examine his provincial origins, family life and military upbringing before turning our attention to his genius for propaganda that propelled his meteoric rise. We will then chart his unlikely course from canny artillery officer at Toulon to rockstar republican general whose novel tactics left his opponents both political and military in a stupor… and all before he reached the tender age of 30!

– ‘Le grand Atlas de Napoléon (2021)
– ‘Napoleon The Great’ by Andrew Roberts (2014)
– ‘ Napoleon: The Man behind the Myth’ by Adam Zamoyski (2018)
– ‘Napoleonic Wars’ by Charles Esdaile (2007)