Sunday, February 7, 2010

On the bedside table...

While I'm battling with things to complete the cuirassiers (all base colours down, now for the horses but its slooooow work with constant paintus interuptus! from work, kids & uni etc) so here's my reading list - hobby, not uni!

The book I've just finished reading is Paul Strathern's "Napoleon In Egypt" -  with some excellent battle and campaign descriptions, accurately based on primary source material.  The cover with the Gerome painting of his Nibs in Egypt on a camel is one of my favourites of Napoleon and attracted my attention.

Its a beautifully written book and Strathern's research is meticulous.  The Syrian campaign culminating in the failed siege of Acre is amazing in concept (as was the entire Egyptian venture) and offers a rich feast of 'what ifs' and desperate battles - read about what really happened in the lead-up to Mt. Tabour for example - a very 'near-run' thing indeed.

Its inspired me to think about re-creating the Napoleonic army of the time and creating Mameluke and Turkish ones (with a smattering of red-coats and marines thrown in for good measure). Now that would be a project-and-a-half!

The one I'm currently reading is "The Eagle's Last Triumph - Napoleon's Victory at Ligny, June 1815" by Andrew Uffindell.  It too is well researched and based on primary source material, not just the opinion of the author, an important consideration IMO as there is so much written about the 100 Days and this battle.

While Uffindell addresses some of the controversy about the role Wellington played in the flawed battle at Quatre Bras, he explains more of what Ney did and why in relation to the latter's failure to envelope the Prussian's right as instructed by Napoleon.  Uffindell quotes Hoffshroer as a reference for the famous meeting between Wellington and Blucher at the Bussy mill but does not go into the controversy about Wellington supposedly telling Blucher a load of cobblers about coming to his aid etc etc.  Hoffshroer's controversial 'we-wus-gypped' claims about the Prussians have been carefully ignored by Uffindell in his retelling.

The Prussians were hard done by, but more by their own hand then Wellington who, after all, was reacting to being 'humbugged' by Napoleon!  I'll see if I still hold this view when I've finished Uffindell's book.

The last one on the bedside table to read is Mark Urban's 'Fusiliers - Eight Years with the Redcoats in America'.  I got this one on spec as I have read and enjoyed his acclaimed 'Ten British Commanders Who Shaped the World'.

The rapidly growing pile of uni books and papers is looking ominous and I have to get someway through  it before classes start in March - so I don't think I'll be able to get to Urban AND finish the cuirassiers AND start the Victrix Italians (2nd Regt) before then [sigh].

That's all for now. 

For those loosing the will to live at not seeing more figures, I promise the next post will be some figures painted!


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