Check Out The Caesar Show

Here’s a plug for the Life Of Caesar podcast, hosted by Cameron and Ray Harris. It’s been going since Dec ’13, has about 80,000 listeners and ranks in the Top 100 podcasts in the USA, UK, AUS and CAN, so check it out!

Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #59 – Napoleon @ The NGV

Hey folks!

It’s been nearly 18 months since the last podcast! Can you believe it!?

This is a special episode to celebrate and promote a special Napoleonic event that is currently happening in Melbourne – Napoleon: Revolution to Empire.

I had the chance today to chat with Sophie Matthiesson, one of the curators at the National Gallery of Victoria. We spoke about how the exhibition came to be, a bit about some of the pieces on display (such as the wonderful “Napoleon Crossing The Alps” by David) and what she hopes people who attend the exhibition will learn about Napoleon.

I highly recommend attending the exhibition if you can and, if you can’t, at least check out the NGV website to read up on the exhibition.

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #58 – Wolfe Tone & The Irish Rebellions 1796-98

Welcome back!

I know, I know, it’s been 8 months since our last podcast. Sorry folks.

On this episode, our special guest is again Nicholas Stark, a 20-year-old wunderkind who David and I first met in Paris back in 2008, and who is studying at West Chester University in Philadelphia and a Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society.

Today Nicholas regales us with the story of Wolfe Tone, a leading figure in the United Irishmen Irish independence movement and who is regarded as the father of Irish republicanism.

Although Napoleon doesn’t feature greatly in this story, as most of it takes place while his career was just beginning, it is a tremendous tale of the French Revolution, the Directory and the Irish independence movement and it leads to some wondrous “what if” scenarios.

What if the French has assisted the Irish in their rebellion?

What impact would a English defeat to the French and Irish in 1796 have had on the rest of the Revolutionary Wars?

Could England have survived a two-front war with one of those on it’s own doorstep?

Nick adds:

The total Irish casualties in 1798 were 20,000 (more than Terror victims in French Rev except for Vendée), plus I want to add an acknowledgment of Cécile Déjardin and Stephen Dunford, who both have helped me with my research.

Music for this show: Sibina McCague and Padraig McGovern Moran’s Hornpipe*Byrnes Hornpipe), Paidin O Raifeartaigh

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #57 – Haiti Pt 3

And once again we are fortunate to have Nicholas Stark back on the show to finish our series on Napoleon and Haiti.

Today we focus on the claims that Napoleon directly ordered atrocities to be committed in Haiti.

Did Napoleon, as Claude Ribbe claims, invent the gas chamber? (We find no evidence for that.)

Did the French troops in Haiti under Generals Leclerc and Rochambeau commit terrible atrocities against the Haitians?

Did the Haitians under Loverture commit atrocities?

I read from Napoleon’s orders to Leclerc and quote a poem from Wordsworth.

And, most importantly, is it true that Rochambeau invented Rock-Paper-Scissors?

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #56 – Nick Stark on Haiti (Part Two)

We’re back with Nicholas Stark to discuss St. Domingo / Haiti and Napoleon’s reinstitution of slavery in 1802. Was Toussaint L’Overture really a “saint” (his name translates as “all saints” or “all souls opening”)? Was Napoleon really a racist?

Nick does another amazing job of delving into the primary sources from this period to paint a picture of Napoleon’s motivations for his actions and his subsequent regrets.

Thanks to everyone for the wonderful feedback we had from the last episode. I’m sure you’ll agree that Nick does an amazing job for a 19-year old undergrad. He has a huge career ahead of him.

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #55 – Nicholas Stark on Napoleon and Haiti (part one)


I know – it’s been a long, long…. long time!

But we are glad to be back!

On this episode, our special guest is Nicholas Stark, a 19-year-old wunderkind who David and I first met in Paris back in 2008. Nicholas is an undergraduate at West Chester University and a Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society, who has an article published in Volume 3 of the Internatonal Napoleonic Society’s Journal and who authored a paper on Napoleon and Haiti which was recently read (by INS “First Lady” Barbara Markham) at the recent INS Congress held in Malta.

One topic we often get requests to talk about in more detail is Napoleon’s involvement in the restoration of slavery in Haiti after the slave revolt lead by Toussaint L’overture. It’s a fascinating topic that is often dredged up as a criticism of Napoleon and indeed one which requires much further discussion on this podcast. In fact, this is only part one of the discussion and we’ll finish it up in at least one additional episode in coming weeks.

In this episode, Nicholas helps us understand more about the background to the slave revolt in Haiti (or Saint Domingue as it was known at the time), the role of the French Revolution and fascinating characters such as Léger-Félicité Sonthonax.

If you want to follow Nicholas’ activities or chat with him, you can find him on Twitter and his blog.

And don’t forget to keep an eye on the INS site and to buy some of David’s excellent books!

Oh and if anyone is interested, today’s version of La Marsellaise can be found here. It’s the one by Mireille Mathieu.

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #54 – Dr Philip Dwyer

Welcome back! It’s been a long time between shows, I’m so sorry! But you’ll LOVE this episode, trust me, it was worth waiting for!

Our guest today is Dr Philip Dwyer, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education and Arts, School of Humanities and Social Science, History Dept, University of Newscastle, Australia. Philip has a long list of credentials:

* Ph.D. University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, 1993
* D.E.A. Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, (Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies) Paris, 1989
* Maîtrise University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), Paris, 1988
* Licence University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), Paris, 1988
* B.A. Murdoch University, Perth, Australia, 1983

(see his profile page here).

Philip is also the author of “Napoleon: The Path To Power”

His book won the “National Biography Prize” in 2008.

David and I chatted with him last week about his perspectives on Napoleon. While we agreed on some things, we disagreed on other things and it lead to a passionate but always polite debate. 🙂

Please jump in the comments section of the show and let us know you’re still out there folks! We need to know if we should continue producing the show!

The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast #52 – Alex Mikaberidze on The Russian Generals

Alexander Mikaberidze joins us again on this episode to share deep biographical details about the major Russian Generals around the war of 1812 – Kutusov, Bagration, Barclay de Tolly, Tolstoy – the men who defeated Napoleon with a highly unusual strategy.



The Napoleon Bonaparte Podcast 51 – Alex Mikaberidze on The Burning of Moscow

Our guest today is again the wonderful Alexander Mikaberidze. We continue the discussion from where we left off in Episode 50, talking about Napoleon’s entry into Moscow, the burning of Moscow, and the “strategic withdrawal”. Was the burning of Moscow deliberate strategy on behalf of the Russians? If they hadn’t burned it, would the outcome of the campaign have been different? Why did Napoleon stay so long in Moscow?

Alex is assistant professor of European history at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. He holds a degree in international law from Tbilisi State University (Republic of Georgia, 1999) and a Ph.D. in history from Florida State University (2003). After working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (1996-2000), he taught European and Middle Eastern history at Florida State and Mississippi State Universities and lectured on strategy and policy for the U.S. Naval War College. In addition to his articles on various Napoleonic-related topics, Dr. Mikaberidze has written and edited seven books, including The Battle of Borodino: Napoleon versus Kutuzov (2007), Historical Dictionary of Georgia (2007), The Russian Officer Corps in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1792-1815 (2004, winner of the 2005 Literary Prize of the International Napoleonic Society), The Czar’s General: The Memoirs of a Russian General in the Napoleonic Wars (2005). He has been awarded the International Napoleonic Society’s Legion of Merit Award for his contributions to the Napoleonic studies.

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