The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #004 – Enter Josephine


We left Napoleon in late 1795, having broken the back of the Paris insurgency with a “whiff of grapeshot”. For his efforts he was made Commander of the Army of the Interior, the largest armed force in France, with the rank of general de division. He changed his name from Buonaparte to Bonaparte. He is 26 years old. Josephine. It is around this time that Napoleon first meets Marie Joesphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie whom he decided to call Josephine. She was 32, 6 years older than N, and had two children from her previous marriage. In this show we talk a little about:

  • her background
  • Alexander’s execution
  • how she came to meet Napoleon
  • her relationship with Paul Barras
  • her marriage to Napoelon in 1796 – within six months of meeting!
  • Her children

In the next show, we’ll start to cover the Italian Campaign of 1796 as Napoleon continues his rise to power and eternal fame!

And don’t forget, if you are new to Napoleonic study, then you really must buy a copy of David’s recent book:

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #003 – Thermidor and A Whiff of Grapeshot!

napoleon bonaparte whiff of grapeshot

Napoleon #003 (mp3 – 18Mb – 50mins)


In Episode #3 of Napoleon 101, we pick up where we left last time – Napoleon has just won the Battle of Toulon and is made a Brigadier General. He is 24.

This brings us to 1794 and the events of the month of Thermidor (July in the revolutionary calendar).

  • Napoleon’s relationship with Augustin Robespierre, and his older brother Maximillian, sees him thrown into prison.
  • He is released but still has his name struck off the list of artillery officers and transferred to infantry.
  • He takes two months sick leave and goes to Paris. Eventually he ends up working in the Topography Department of the Army.
  • Then we move to 1795 – Vendemaire. Paris is under attack and Napoleon meets Paul Barras.
  • Napoleon saves the day with a “whiff of grapeshot”.
  • As we finish this episode, Napoleon is made commander of the Army of the Interior, the largest army in France. He is only 26 years old.

In Episode #4, Napoleon will meet Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de la Pagerie (aka Josephine) and will take up the command of The Army of Italy!

If you are a Napoleon neophite, then you really must buy a copy of David’s recent book:

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #002 – Early life and military career

Napoleon #002 (mp3 – 16Mb – 46mins)


In Episode #2 of Napoleon 101, we start the story of Napoleon’s life with his birth in the town of Ajaccio on the island of Corsica in the Mediterranean. We then cover:

  • The political environment of Corsica
  • His father Carlo’s relationship with the Corsican revolutionary Paoli
  • Napoleon’s life at military boarding school from age 9
  • The French Revolution occurs in 1789 and Napoleon’s reaction to it
  • In 1791 he returns to Corsica to play a role in its revolution
  • In 1793 he splits with Paoli and has to escape Corsica with his entire family
  • He then experiences more civil war at the battle of Avignon
  • Writes the short story Le Souper de Beaucaire
  • Finally, at age 24, he is the architect of the victory at Toulon!
  • For his part he is promoted to Brigadier General

In the next episode, we will start with the events of Thermidor and the infamous “whiff of grapeshot”!

If you are enjoying the series but want to learn more about Napoleon, don’t forget to check out David’s many books, including “Napoleon For Dummies”, which you can find here.

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #001 – An Introduction

Napoleon 101 #001 (mp3 – 24Mb – 68 mins)

An Introduction to The Napoleon 101 Podcast from Cameron Reilly on Vimeo.

Welcome to the first episode of Napoleon 101! David and I are very excited about creating this show and the rest of the series.

For this first episode, we thought we’d start by giving you a bit of a taste-tester. Before we get deep into the nitty-gritty of his life and career, we’ll take you on a quick journey of what makes Napoleon such an interesting topic for us. For example, we cover:

  • How and when did we first get interested in Napoleon?
  • What is it about Napoleon that fascinates us?
  • The first things everyone wants to know:
    • Was he really short?
    • Why did he stick his hand inside his jacket?
    • Did he really say “Not tonight, Josephine”?
    • Was he poisoned or not?
  • Top 5 things everyone should know about Napoleon
    • He was Corsican
    • He rarely, if ever, broke a peace treaty
    • He was a workaholic who hardly slept
    • He was a genius with a great eye for detail
    • The Code Napoleon
  • Our favourite Napoleonic event/story/anecdote/myth
    • The return from Elba
    • The Battle of Austerlitz

If you are new to Napoleon, then we hope this show will give you a taste to learn more. If you are already an experienced hand, then we hope you will enjoy hearing a couple of Napoleon geeks tell the story that you are already familiar with.

If you like the show, please subscribe on either iTunes or Stitcher.

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