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Killing Napoleon: The Plot to Blow up Bonaparte

Jonathan North



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Amberley Publishing
15 January 2019
Biography: historical, political & military; History; Napoleonic Wars
It was the evening of Christmas Eve. The streets of Paris were crowded with citizens. Some were shopping, some were eating and drinking. But others were plotting to murder the most famous and powerful man in the world. They wheeled their improvised bomb into town earlier that day, and waited. Then, amongst the milling crowd, they saw the target. Despite knowing that the bomb would kill indiscriminately, the fuse was lit, and the enormous explosion wreaked havoc. The target for this early act of terrorism was the coach carrying Napoleon Bonaparte, who had seized power the year before and found himself the enemy of republicans and royalists alike. The terrorists belonged to the royal faction and although they failed to kill Napoleon, their atrocity hurled political violence in a new and terrifying direction in the country: towards a now familiar place where civilian casualties would be collateral damage and where bombs in packed streets and squares would be the new agents of terror. This book sets the scene with Napoleon's coup and follows the cell of extremists as they prepare their plans and devise a weapon that became known as the Infernal Machine. After their attack, we follow the security services as they hunt down the perpetrators, baffled by the novelty of terrorism, as Napoleon uses public anger to launch a war on his opponents. Using first-hand accounts, trial transcripts and archival material, and with the drama of a detective story, Killing Napoleon recounts one of the great crimes of its era, a story still largely unknown in the English-speaking world, that was a powerful precursor to the terrorist threats we know today.
By:   Jonathan North
Imprint:   Amberley Publishing
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
Weight:   556g
ISBN:   9781445683768
ISBN 10:   1445683768
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   15 January 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

Jonathan North's degree focused on European history and he has spent much of his life studying the era from 1789 to 1815. This has led to a dozen books on the period, including: With Napoleon in Russia (Greenhill) and Nelson at Naples (Amberley). As well as many years' experience writing and translating, he has spent some of his career as a commissioning editor of modern history. The author's website is

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