Cover image for Napoleon : a biographical companion
Napoleon : a biographical companion
Nicholls, David, 1949-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, [1999]

Physical Description:
xxii, 318 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm.
Describes the life, achievements, rise to power, and influences of the military leader who crowned himself Emperor of the French and established dominance over Europe.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DC203 .N53 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This illustrated A-Z encyclopedia provides easy access to information about the emperor Napoleon. Over 300 entries cover significant events, people, and other topics such as the principal Napoleonic campaigns, all the major battles including Waterloo and Austerlitz, Napoleon's most important generals and marshals, Josephine de Beauharnais, and the Napoleonic Code. Napoleon also includes primary source documents, a handy chronology of key events, a bibliography, and an index.

Author Notes

David Nicholls was born in 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire, United Kingdom. He studied English literature and drama at the University of Bristol. When he graduated he won a scholarship to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. He appeared in plays at the Battersea Arts Centre, the Finborough, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Birmingham Rep, and had a three year stint at the Royal National Theatre, understudying and playing small parts.

During this period he took a job at BBC Radio Drama as a script reader/researcher and he developed an adaptation of Sam Shepard's stage-play Simpatico with the director Matthew Warchus. He also wrote his first original script, Waiting, which was later optioned by the BBC.

Simpatico was turned into a feature film in 1999 which allowed him to start writing full-time. I Saw You won best single play at the annual BANFF television festival. He has been twice nominated for BAFTA awards.

His first novel, Starter for 10, was featured on the first Richard and Judy Book Club. His other novels include The Understudy, One Day, which won the Galaxy Book Award, and Us.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The aim of this new entry in the publisher's Biographical Companions series is to put Napoleon "in the broadest possible context, in terms of his place in the making of modern France and the reshaping of Europe." The volume begins with a lengthy essay on Napoleon and his importance in history. The remainder of the volume consists of entries in a traditional alphabetical format, beginning with Abdication, first (April 1814) and ending with Yorck von Wartenburg, Johann David Ludwig, Count (1759^-1830), the Prussian general. Coverage is given to Napoleon the politician, the ruler, the soldier, the revolutionary, the administrator, the dynast, and the myth. There are entries for people (Alexander I, Tsar of Russia; Stael, Germaine de), places (Elba, Spain), events (Essling, Battle of; Vienna, Congress of ), and other aspects of Napoleon's career and times (Censorship, Empire style, Industry, Romanticism). Each entry ranges in length from several paragraphs to several pages. All have cross-references to related headings and a bibliography for further reading. A third section of the book contains primary source material that includes excerpts from Napoleon's memoirs and proclamations, assessments of his personality provided by two of his most determined contemporary opponents, and excerpts from army newspapers about his almost invincible superhuman qualities. A handy chronology and an extensive bibliography follow. Judging from the durability of interest in Napoleon, this volume should be a welcome addition to high-school, public, and undergraduate libraries.

Library Journal Review

Some 200 years ago, when Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed of himself, "I am not a man, I am a historical figure," he probably suspected the profound influence his life and deeds would have on Europe's society, culture, government, and military history. Now, in one massive volume, NichollsÄa scholar, university lecturer, and historian of the Napoleonic eraÄaddresses all aspects of Napoleon as a soldier, politician, administrator, emperor, and revolutionary, including the people, places, and events he affected directly or indirectly. The 343 A-to-Z entries cover everything from well-known biographical data, battles, and personalities to more obscure entries covering Napoleon's scandalous sister Pauline, the Opera Plot assassination attempt, and the wacky Malet Conspiracy. The entries are short and concise, but each also identifies related entries and offers scholarly suggestions for further reading. Complemented nicely by Napoleonic documents, a chronology, and a comprehensive bibliography, this polished and well-constructed effort will serve as an easy-to-use reference for students. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.ÄWilliam D. Bushnell, USMC (ret.), Brunswick, ME (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-An alphabetically arranged encyclopedia of people, places, and events related to the French emperor. The entries range in length from one paragraph to one page and include references to related topics plus reading suggestions. Black-and-white illustrations are scattered throughout the text, but-surprisingly-there are no maps. While thorough and scholarly, Napoleon will be of little interest to high school students. The writing is stodgy and presupposes familiarity with French history (particularly the 1789 Revolution). There are several internal inconsistencies, and the entries are often repetitious. Cross-references to names of individuals, battles, and treaties are inadequate. An encyclopedia entry or solid biography, such as Bob Carroll's Napoleon Bonaparte (Lucent, 1994) will probably satisfy the information needs of most students.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.