Napoleon

'The Charge of the 10th Hussars at Benevente (Corunna Campaign), 1809', c1915 (1928)

On the run from Corunna: Now We Shall be Entirely Free, by Andrew Miller, reviewed

1 September 2018 9:00 am

There is only one Andrew Miller. In the 20 years since his debut novel Ingenious Pain won both the James…

‘The Battle of the Pyramids’, 1798–9, by François-Louis-Joseph Watteau

The best and most extensive exhibition on Napoleon in three decades

16 June 2018 9:00 am

The Musée de l’Armée at Les Invalides in Paris has a new exhibition that I believe to be the best…

Paul Durand-Ruel, who created the market for impressionism, commissioned Renoir’s ‘Dance in the Country’, painted in 1883

Connoisseurs and con artists

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Rogues’ Gallery describes itself as a history of art and its dealers, and Philip Hook, who has worked at the…

Portrait of Persia’s Prince Abbas Mirza c. 1820. From his bailiwick near the Russian border he dispatched educational missions to Europe, sponsored translations of key European works and imported metal casting techniques and the printing press

When Islam was a byword for benign Enlightenment

25 February 2017 9:00 am

Christopher de Bellaigue, a journalist who has spent much of his working life in the Middle East, has grown tired…

Why has the Peninsular War been so readily forgotten?

12 November 2016 9:00 am

You learn startling things about the long entanglement of the British with Spain on every page of Simon Courtauld’s absorbing…

Albert Dieudonné as Napoleon in Abel Gance’s five-and-a-half-hour epic

How I rescued one of the greatest — and longest — films ever made

5 November 2016 9:00 am

Kevin Brownlow on one of the greatest – and longest – silent films ever made

The bullet-ridden plaque to Nelson in Napoleon’s Corsica

3 September 2016 9:00 am

European unions come and go. Back in 1794, one of the more improbable ones was founded when Corsica joined Britain…

La France as I knew her n’existe plus

23 July 2016 9:00 am

From my bedroom window I can see a little girl with blonde pigtails riding her bicycle round and round for…

The city’s beauty has often been described as ‘melancholic’, ‘sinister’ or ‘dreamlike’

‘The finest architectural delusion in the world’

14 May 2016 9:00 am

It took the madness of genius to build such a wonderful impossibility. Patrick Marnham reviews a delightful new literary guide to Venice

The ruthless Romanovs’ horrible history

30 January 2016 9:00 am

It’s hard to tell at times who came off worst in Romanov Russia — the tsar or his subjects, says Adam Zamoyski

The Emperor Maximilian I by Bernhard Strigel

The Holy Roman Empire has been much maligned

23 January 2016 9:00 am

The Holy Roman Empire has been much maligned over the centuries. In fact it worked remarkably well, says Jonathan Steinberg

Monumental change: the overthrow of the statue of Napoleon I, which was on top of the Vendôme Column. The painter Gustave Courbet is ninth from the right

A short history of statue-toppling

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Sculptural topplings provide an index of changing times, says Martin Gayford

The edible woman: Lily James as Natasha Rostova in ‘War and Peace’

War & Peace is actually just an upmarket Downton Abbey

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Gosh what a breath of fresh air was Andrew Davies’s War & Peace adaptation (BBC1, Sundays) after all the stale…

Puccini’s villain as swashbuckling hero

29 October 2015 9:00 am

You don’t need to know the opera Tosca to understand and enjoy this book about Puccini’s most notorious villain, Vitellio…

France’s favourite bedtime story: a sanitised version of the French Revolution

18 July 2015 9:00 am

The great conundrum of French history is the French Revolution, or rather, the sequence of revolutions, coups and insurrections during…

The new Imperial Royal Austrian Light Infantry c.1820

The honour of the Habsburgs was all that mattered to the imperial Austrian army

20 June 2015 9:00 am

John Keegan, perhaps the greatest British military historian of recent years, felt that the most important book (because of its…

How the French won Waterloo (or think they did)

13 June 2015 9:00 am

The French would still prefer to think of Napoleon’s last defeat as a moral victory

BBC2’s Napoleon reviewed: does Andrew Roberts’s pet Frog need rehabilitating?

13 June 2015 9:00 am

I adore Andrew Roberts. We go back a long way. Once, on a boating expedition gone wrong in the south…

‘Combs, Hair Highway’, 2014, by Studio Swine

Luxury isn’t the opposite of poverty but the opposite of vulgarity - but don’t tell the V&A

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Different concepts of luxury may be inferred from a comparison of the wedding feast of Charles Bovary and Emma Rouault…

‘Chelsea pensioners reading the Waterloo Dispatch’ by Sir David Wilkie

From prince to pauper: a dramatic overview of Britain on 18 June 1815

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Of all the big battalions of books marking the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo that have come my way,…

Radio 4’s War and Peace: almost as good as the book

24 January 2015 9:00 am

To have listened to Radio 4’s marathon ten-hour adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace as it was being broadcast on…

Spectator letters: Richard Ingrams defends Joan Littlewood, and the truth about Napoleon’s poisonous wallpaper

15 November 2014 9:00 am

The state of Italy… Sir: Ambassador Terracciano’s letter (Letters, 1 November) about Nicholas Farrell’s article (‘The dying man of Europe’,…

Andrew Roberts’s diary: Just who’s the despot here – Napoleon or Paxman?

1 November 2014 9:00 am

To the British embassy in Paris for a colloquium on ‘Napoleon and Wellington in War and Peace’ organised by our…

The charge of the Scots Greys at Waterloo by the British-American artist Richard Caton Woodville. From A History of War in 100 Battles by Richard Overy (William Collins, £25)

Four ways to win Waterloo

25 October 2014 9:00 am

The Kaiser’s war deprived Britain of her centenary celebrations of the victory at Waterloo. It also set the propagandists something…

Knockout lemon sorbet: Gelateria Bonaparte

Napoleon's birthplace feels more Italian than French

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Napoleon’s birthplace, Casa Buona-parte, in Ajaccio, Corsica’s capital, is pretty grand. It has high ceilings, generous, silk-lined rooms and a…