Napoleon’s Chess Games

Victor Sheely again comes up with the goods – he sent me this link to a handful of Napoleon’s chess games. I just played through this game between Napoleon and Bertrand on St Helena in 1820 and it’s a SHOCKER. I’d always heard that Napoleon wasn’t a very good chess player but, seriously, my kids would have kicked his ass if he played like this. And they are only 8. Mind you, as we discussed on the show, Napoleon was probably riddled with arsenic at this stage so I guess I should cut him some credit. 🙂

Napoleon to Alexander

I was reading THE TIMES ONLINE tonight (a 1984 story from their archives about the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle in case you were wondering) when I spotted the below quote from Napoleon. Click on the image to get taken to The Times site where you can read a story from 1809 about a letter Napoleon wrote to Czar Alexander.

A new Biography Show is out!

I just thought I’d give a plug for the other show David and I are doing – The Biography Show – which has a new episode up about Helen Of Troy. Did she really exist? Or is completely fictional? Find out our thoughts on the show!

By the way, I was prompted to write this by a nice email I just got out of the blue from a guy at Apple telling me he’s a big fan of the new show! When a guy working on iTunes tells you he likes you show, it’s got to count for something!

Napoleon invented the computer?

Well, not quite, but listener Arni Sigurdsson from Iceland found this website which explains how Napoleon was important to the development of the modern computer. According to the site:

Napoleon’s troops in Egypt buy shawls and start a fashion craze.

In Europe the shawls get made on automated, perforated-paper control looms.

This gives an American engineer Herman Hollerith the idea to automate calculation using punch cards.

Which get used to control ENIAC, the first electronic computer!

Thanks for the link Arni, fascinating!

The Biography Show #001 – Alexander The Great

Well as you know, David and I have been threatening to inflict another podcast series on you for a while and I’m happy to announce that one of them is finally here!

And it isn’t the one we were expecting to launch first.

Introducing – The Biography Show.

The idea behind The Biography Show is to examine the lives of some of history’s most influential people. We kick off the series with a 90 minute talk about the life of Alexander III of Macedon, otherwise known as Alexander “The Great”.

The Biography Show

We still intend on doing a Napoleon-type series on Caesar sometime this year but we’re both waiting for our schedules to clear up a little.

Paris accommodation

After the International Napoleonic Society conference that’s being held in Corsica in July, I intend on spending a few days in Paris (July 12 – 15). If anyone out there has recommendations on affordable accommodation, please let me know. 🙂

Audio Feed vs Video Feed

Okay, I’ve worked out why the video is coming down in the audio feed. If that happened to you, and you didn’t want the video, my apologies. Here’s how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The reason it happened (I think) is that the iTunes feed on the main Napoleon page points to our meta-feed. It will suck down EVERYTHING.

If you want only the audio versions of the show, unsubscribe from the show in iTunes and use THIS AUDIO ONLY FEED.

If you want only the video, get THIS VIDEO ONLY FEED.

If you want it all, GET THE BIG DADDY FEED.

Campfires Of Napoleon

One of my sisters gave me this gift for Christmas: “Campfires of Napoleon”, by Henry Clay Watson and published 1854 by Porter Coates in Philadelphia. Watson, a journalist and editor by profession, wrote the book when he was only 23.

Campfires Of Napoleon

It’s a very pro-Napoleon book written, I suspect, for high school kids a mere 33 years after Napoleon’s death. Each chapter covers one of his battles and is called “Campfires” because it imagines the stories being told around the bivouacs after the battle. As it is out of copyright, I’m tempted to read each chapter on a podcast designed for kids.

You can read the entire text online thanks to Google Books.

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