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Napoleonic stories from the French side?

Discussion in 'Historical Fiction' started by Gramm838, Jun 8, 2015.

  1.  
    Gramm838

    Gramm838 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know of any Napoleonic era novels (a la Bernard Cornwell) but written from the French side? I've read all of the Sharpe novels at least twice and it would be interesting to see the events with a different viewpoint.

    Surely there must some French novelists who have covered this time period, and which are available in English (my 50 years-ago schoolboy French will struggle to read much French nowadays)...
     
  2.  
    svalbard

    svalbard Well-Known Member

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    I read, what I thought was a great novel about Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name. One standout scene were of his engineers building a pontoon bridge across a freezing river as Marshal Ney's corps fought a desperate rearguard action.

    Obviously this is of no help to you whatsoever...sorry.
     
  3.  
    Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess Staff Member

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    I can't think of anything off the top of my head except for some romance novels, but if you are looking for books that are written in English that were sympathetic to the French side, you might find some books by American authors, seeing as how we were allied to the French for part of that time. Maybe look up the War of 1812, since that's what we call it.
     
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    paranoid marvin

    paranoid marvin Run VT Erroll!

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    Richard Howard's Alain Lausard Adventures are what you're after; effectively a French Sharpe. Taken from a Parisian prison and into the French dragoons, Alain and his companions have a series of adventures in the Napoleonic wars. Not as well written, or with as interesting characters as Cornwell's novels , they are still enjoyable and tell the war from the other side.
     
  5.  
    Vince W

    Vince W Well-Known Member

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  6.  
    svalbard

    svalbard Well-Known Member

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    Looking at that list I am pretty sure it was Patrick Rambaud's The Retreat I read a few years back.
     
  7.  
    mosaix

    mosaix Shropshire, U.K.

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    A little OT but in the book 1812 there's a humorous story. Having been defeated Napoleon leaves a few generals to manage the retreat from Moscow and heads back towards Paris.

    He reaches a river and says to the ferryman "Have and deserters passed this way?"

    "No," replies the ferryman, "you're the first."
     
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  8.  
    MWagner

    MWagner Well-Known Member

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    The Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle is great fun. The stories are akin to Flashman, where the fictional protagonist is witness to great events through the history of the regime, though Gerard isn't a cowardly cad so much as a vain popinjay.
     
  9.  
    Lew Rockwell Fan

    Lew Rockwell Fan Have tasp, will travel.

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    Machine translation produces comical results in some languages, but for French it is probably quite good enough to read a novel. If you decide you want to try that, I have ideas on where you could find recommendations.
     
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