Defying Napoleon


The Napoleonic Wars are dominated by a relatively small number of people. In naval warfare, Nelson stands out so far ahead in this history that it seems no battle ever took place without him or if it did it could have been of little consequence. Off the mountains of books written on naval warfare of the period, there is rarely anything that is really new or different. For most people the Battle of Copenhagen was the daring action that involved Nelson in 1801. Again for the overwhelming majority there was no naval activity after the Battle of Trafalgar and the tragedy of Nelson’s death as the battle was won. It will therefore come as something of a surprise for many to discover through this engaging new book that there was another Battle of Copenhagen in 1807 that just as full of drama and includes a number of important personalities of the period who are popularly associated with other actions. There is a good black and white plate section, but otherwise illustration is economical. The text reads nicely at a good pace and with colour, bringing the story to life.