the Myth, the Legend
a spare 300 or so minutes? That's about five hours. If you have
- and are interested in history - then prepare to sit yourself down
in front of the TV and get an in-depth portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte
and the era named after him.
six-video series, Napoleon: the Man, the Myth, the Legend,
is a superb examination of Bonaparte's life and career and is guaranteed
to teach something new to Napoleonic buffs.
has the usual format for these types of documentaries - good narration,
excellent experts, film footage and re-enactments - but Napoleon
offers the viewer something most do not, and that is time.
has the length to be able to fill in many details on important matters
and not just say the bare facts, but has the experts go into little
anecdotes about incidents and give a broader insight into what was
going on in the period.
should mention the experts include Professor Tim Blanning, Professor
Jeremy Black, J David Markham, Alan Rooney and Digby Smith. These
guys know their stuff and it is quite nice to watch the different
personal views of Bonaparte coming through.
series has been broken up into six broad themes - The Early Years,
The Early Campaigns, Imperial Zenith, The Spanish
Ulcer, Disaster in Russia and Waterloo - The Final
Curtain - and this allows for a lot of connected information
to be easily absorbed. Click
here for series details.
episode features large-scale authentic battle reconstructions, extracts
from diaries, letters and memoirs, easy-to-follow maps and graphics,
as well as rare images.
there is a slight moan to be made about Napoleon it is the overuse
of film footage from Sergei Bondarchuk's War and Peace.
about every incident is backed up by scenes from that great movie
and, if everything were to do with Austerlitz or the 1812 Invasion
of Russia that would be fine. But to have the narrator talk about
executing plotters while showing the scene where Moscow's incendiaries
are being shot is stretching it a little.
for people, like myself, who know a little bit about the era the
Napoleon series offers many new things of interest. Little reminders
of things you might have read and had forgotten, or reminders to
go and investigate the issues a bit more deeply.
would suggest this is a must-have for history teachers and Napoleonic
buffs alike. Just perfect for the home library - when all that is
on offer on the Idiot Box is dross.