The Exploits of Baron de Marbot

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9780094801103: The Exploits of Baron de Marbot

A hugely entertaining contemporaneous account of the Napoleonic Wars by a young officer who was eventually promoted to General on the eve of Waterloo. Abridged from the two-volume original of "The Adventures of Baron de Marbot", the "Exploits" are edited to provide expert comment and essential background. The episodes are picaresque, anecdotal, packed with bravado, duels, deceptions, narrow escapes and derring-do.

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Why read fictional tales of Napoleonic adventure, the Sharpes and Patrick O'Brians of this world, when the actual participants left behind so many and such entertaining memoirs? CJ Summerville has now excerpted and edited the best bits from the autobiography of French General, the Baron de Marbot; memoirs the publishers consider "the most vivid and most evocative picture of the Napoleonic Wars ever written". They may well be right; Marbot has a novelist's eye for the telling detail, and he recounts adventures many of which would be too outlandish to be believed in a work of fiction. He tells of astonishing hardships and extraordinary bravery in battle. At one point Marbot sees a hallucination of his mother on the battlefield begging him to spare a Russian cossack's life. At another he returns a defeated German soldier's sabre to him: "the combat over, I was generous enough to hand back his weapon, as is the practice in such cases. He thanked me warmly." A few moments later, though, the defeated hussar thinks better of it and tries to kill de Marbot. "He laid open my horse's shoulder and was on the point of sabreing me when I threw myself weaponless upon him." In the struggle the German "pulled me hard enough by my epaulette. My saddle spun round and there I was with one leg in the air and my head pointing downwards while my prisoner bolted back to his comrades." You couldn't, as they say, make it up.

As the story goes on, the tragic inevitability of impending French defeat adds gravitas to de Marbot's perky tales. The retreat from Moscow, through the Russian winter, is brilliantly told: "the way was strewn with dead and dying; our march slow and silent. We had often to halt and clear away from the horse's bits the icicles formed by their frozen breath." By the time we get to Waterloo the reader's sympathies are very much with de Marbot. "I cannot get over our defeat," he says of that last battle, with a metaphor both baffling and strangely expressive: "we manoeuvred like so many pumpkins." Summerville's selections, linked with brisk historical summaries, are excellent; he picks out the best and most thrilling material, and contextualises it neatly amongst the amazing events of the war. You finish reading the book having been--that dream of historical writers--both entertained and educated. --Adam Roberts

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'The first of all soldier books in the world...' Conan Doyle

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Summerville, Ed
Published by Constable & Robinson 2002-03 (2002)
ISBN 10: 009480110X ISBN 13: 9780094801103
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Summerville, Ed
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Book Description Constable and Robinson, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 216 x 140 mm. Language: N/A. Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A hugely entertaining contemporaneous account of the Napoleonic Wars by a young officer who was eventually promoted to General on the eve of Waterloo. Abridged from the two-volume original of The Adventures of Baron de Marbot , the Exploits are edited to provide expert comment and essential background. The episodes are picaresque, anecdotal, packed with bravado, duels, deceptions, narrow escapes and derring-do. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780094801103

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Summerville, Ed
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ISBN 10: 009480110X ISBN 13: 9780094801103
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Book Description Constable and Robinson, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 216 x 140 mm. Language: N/A. Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A hugely entertaining contemporaneous account of the Napoleonic Wars by a young officer who was eventually promoted to General on the eve of Waterloo. Abridged from the two-volume original of The Adventures of Baron de Marbot , the Exploits are edited to provide expert comment and essential background. The episodes are picaresque, anecdotal, packed with bravado, duels, deceptions, narrow escapes and derring-do. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780094801103

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Book Description Constable & Robinson, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. PRINT ON DEMAND Book; New; Publication Year 2016; Not Signed; Fast Shipping from the UK. No. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780094801103_lsuk

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Delivered from our UK warehouse in 3 to 5 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # LQ-9780094801103

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Summerville, Ed
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Book Description Constable, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 009480110X

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Book Description Constable and Robinson, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 320 pages. 8.50x5.51x0.71 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk009480110X

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