December 27, 2007 cameron

Happy Birthday J. David Markham!

Dec 26 is Mr Markham’s birthday so please send him your birthday wishes. Rather than buy him a present, why not buy someone else a copy of one of his books as a gift? I’m sure he’d appreciate that.

When I originally had the idea to start a podcast about Napoleon, I thought about doing it myself but knew that my knowledge was sorely inadequate. When I started looking for a co-host, I had no idea I would ever be so lucky as to find someone like David willing to do the show. I thought I should share with you how that came about.

On my other podcast, G’Day World, I had earlier interviewed New York-based author Staton Rabin about her book “Betsy and the Emperor” (listen to the interview). When I finally was toying with the idea of the Napoleon show, I thought I’d try to get an author involved in each episode. I sent Staton an email asking if she would be interested in doing an episode on St Helena. She said she didn’t really consider herself an expert on the subject either, but knew a few historians and would be happy to introduce me. Her introductions didn’t need to go further than David. She introduced us via email and he said yes and I was very excited.

In all honesty, when we started the show, I never thought it would find much of an audience, I mean, who wants to listen to a show about a guy who has been dead for 200 years?? I just thought it would be awesome to have an excuse to talk to David once a month about one of my favourite subjects. And here we are, almost two years and 34 episodes later, getting close to wrapping up this series but planning lots of other projects together.
I am very fortunate to consider him a colleague and a friend and so, on behalf of myself, my family (David has had light saber duels with my kids via webcam), and you, his 30,000 closest friends, I’d like to say:


Comments (11)

  1. And a very good follow up to Napoleon for Dummies would be JD’s Napoleon and Doctor Verling on St. Helena…and you can connect to Amazon from JD’s website which gives him credit.

  2. Joshua Parker

    Happy Birthday David! 😀

    Thanks for all your hard work on the podcast and Napoleonic History in general. Perhaps more than anyone else you promote interesting in this exciting period of history which I wish was taught in History class in Australia.

    Its so refreshing to hear older folk embracing new technologies and not dismissing them as for ignorant youths, I hope when I’m your age I continue to keep up with emerging technology too David.

  3. Michael

    Happy Birthday David! I actually gave 2 copies of Napoleon for Dummies as Christmas presents this year. Trying to spread the Bonapartist cause around this Christmas. Hope you enjoyed your birthday.

    I’ve always been what you might call a little obsessed with Napoleon, but the podcasts have taken it to a new level even I didn’t think possible. Thank you to both David and Cameron for your hard work and hope to hear much more from you in 2008. Happy Holidays and hope you and your families have a great 2008!

  4. Happy birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and thanks for all the entertainment and education you have given us in 2007.

  5. Thanks, Cameron, for those very kind words. And thanks to one and all for your wishes and for giving my books as presents. Of course I’m sending Joshua a belated lump of coal for referring to me as ‘older folk.’ I have no idea to whom he refers! 😉

    Its been a great run on the podcast, and, believe it or not, we still have a long way to go. Indeed, its been a great run for me on all things Napoleon. I’ve been very lucky and have found myself doing things I’d never have dreamed possible.

    And that, of course, includes the podcast. I’m glad that Cameron is pleased and we are certainly good friends. But it is I who should be (and I am) grateful. He gave me an opportunity to reach an audience far beyond any other direct audience I’ve ever had. We have been doing this for about two years now, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

    So thanks, Cameron, for giving me this opportunity.

    And thanks to all of our listeners for making it all very worthwhile!


    Your devoted friend,


  6. Happy birthday David! Sorry for being so late – but hey, my birthday is on December 26th, too! As was Mao Zedong’s (oh well)…

    By the way, when can we expect the next episode? I am checking the feed nearly each day 😉

    Best greetings from Austria!

  7. pat meyer

    what a great podcast. one comment. last month on the history channel they had biography of Andrew Jackson. It said that at the battle of New Orleans that the British launched a barrage of rockets on the American positions. The soldiers commented at the time how pretty they were.It would seem that rockets were as much a psychological weapon as any thing else.I’m sure that this can be very effective by its self.

  8. Dr. Martin Nicolai

    Dear David and Cameron:
    I am a listener in Aurora, Ontario, Canada, just north of Toronto, and have been making my way through your Napoleon 101 podcasts while I drive to and from my job as a history teacher at Aurora High School, while I do housework, and even while I do the dishes. I was a Napoleon fanatic from age 10 to 18 and at age 12-15, while I lived in Paris, I made periodic “pilgrimages” to the Louvre, where I would admire the Napoleonic paintings, the Musée de L’Armée at the Hôtel des Invalides, and Napoleon’s tomb. I still have over forty books on Napoleonic subjects, Napôleonic pictures in my study, and of course my Napoleon keyring. My son Julian, age 11, has his own bust of Napoleon (I have the larger one right beside me), and learned to set up and reenact Napoleonic battles by the age of four or five, with training from his dad, using several hundred English, Scottish, Prussian, and French toy soldiers I painted as a teenager. Listening to your podcasts has gotten me very excited about l’empereur, and I am very interested by your positive image of Napoleon. It gives me food for thought because I will be teaching Napoleon to my Grade 12s in about three weeks. Have you had any episodes in which you discuss Napoleon’s treatment of Jacobins and various other political opponents, censorship of the press, and other charges of tyranny made against him? Incidentally, my fourth great grandfather Luigi Matteucci was Elisa Bonaparte’s Minister of Justice in Lucca and helped to adapt the Napoleonic Code for use in Italy. Napoleon gave him the Légion d’Honneur in 1811 when Elisa sent him to Paris to congratulate him on the birth of his son, who is also a distant cousin of mine because my father is also related to Marie Louise. Several of my relatives fought for and against Napoleon. Italian relatives fought in Spain and Russia, a German relative from Braunschweig was killed at Quatre-Bras, and a Dutch relative was wounded at the present Butte de Lion at Waterloo. My mother’s cousin Major Frederick Howard of the 10th Hussars was killed at Waterloo while attacking Cambronne’s square of the Chasseurs de la Garde. He fell wounded by the square and a French Imperial Guardsman beat him to death with a musket butt! Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I love your show!

  9. Eusebio Gomez

    Hello Mr Cameron,

    I am a big fan of Napoleon Bonaparte and I think Mr Markham’s book Napoleon for Dummies is by far the best introductory book on the issue. I have been studying Napoleonic history for a while now and I have actually found some very interesting historical documents that speak of Napoleon Bonaparte and his espionage apparatus, especially how he tried to introduce them to Spain’s American colonies to try to distabilize them and set them free from Spanish domain. Based on this documents I’ve written a book, a historical novel, and I would like to get together with people who would be interested in discussing these issues.

    Please write me an e-mail.

    Thank You

    EEusebio Gomez

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