by Tom Pocock
Publisher: John Murray General Publishing Division
Publication date: 21 June 2004
Number of pages: 288
Prizes: Winner of Mountbatten Maritime Prize 2004.
After his defeat by Nelson at Trafalgar, Napoleon knew he could never invade England. Many thought he would try to take over the vast, crumbling Ottoman Empire, return to Egypt and even march on India. So the British concentrated on the Mediterranean: for a decade it became the scene of dangers - real or imagined - and of battles - both on land and at sea. All was dictated by a fierce determination to stop Napoleon. There were triumphs and disasters in remote and exotic places, and a Trafalgar in miniature was fought between frigate squadrons in the Adriatic. The Peninsular War might well have been fought in another peninsula: Italy. Bizarre rulers had to be flattered, or fought: the Bourbons in Palmero and Napoleon's dashing brother-in-law, Marshal Murat, King of Naples. The successors to Nelson and predecessors of Wellington fought there, amongst them Lord Collingwood, Sir Sidney Smith and Sir John Moore. Napoleon himself materialised at his most magnificent in Venice and in humiliating exile on Elba. Of course, Napoleon himself did not see it like that, and the outcome was startling for all...
Tom Pocock has been described as the foremost authority on Nelson. He is the author of eight books about the admiral and his time and Horatio Nelson was runner-up for the Whitbread Biography Award. During many years in Fleet Street, he was also Naval Correspondent of The Times and Defence Correspondent of the London Evening Standard. He lives in London and Norfolk.
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