Rising from total obscurity to control the largest European empire since that of Rome, Napoleon Bonaparte was the most outstanding in an age of outstanding character. His achievements, by brilliant generalship and an incredible personal magnetism, are unrivalled in history.
By 1815, Napoleon was no longer the man who had conquered Europe; afflicted by an assortment of illnesses and wearied by years of campaigning, he was unable to conduct his campaigns in the manner which had brought him victory on a score of fields. After the final burst of energy in the campaigns of 1814, all else was downhill. Nevertheless, he was still the most feared commander in Europe, and it required the presence of Britain’s greatest general and the unwavering courage of Blucher to bring about his final defeat.
On the right shows Napoleon as he probably appeared at Waterloo, in the familiar and now legendary grey greatcoat and plain cocked hat, on the famous white arab, ‘Marengo’, named after one of the Emperor’s victories in a happier age.