Modern history has produced one single myth on a heroic scale to rival those of Alexander and Caesar - that of Napoleon. The continuing fascination of this gifted man is reflected in the number of books published each year on various aspects of the Napoleonic legend: some 250,000 volumes in all since Napoleon's mysterious death in 1821. This biography offers an authoritative up-to-date account of Napoleon, concentrating especially on his private life. It examines: all stages of his developing and extraordinary career; his character, interests and tastes; his friendships, enmities and love affairs; his relations with the members of his family; the impressions he made on his contemporaries away from the council chamber and the battlefield; his personal life at war; his life in exile and as emperor in peacetime; and the mystery surrounding his death. In short, it reveals the man behind the soldier, statesman and legend.
Christopher Hibbert was described in the New Statesman as 'a pearl of biographers', in the Sunday Times as 'a gloriously versatile writer', and in the TES as 'perhaps the most gifted popular historian we have'. His many highly acclaimed books include lives of Mussolini, Samuel Johnson, Wellington, Nelson, Queen Victoria and Napoleon; biographies of cities such as London (The Encyclopaedia of London), Rome, (The Encyclopaedia of Rome), Venice and Florence; histories of the Cavaliers and Roundheads and The Great Mutiny, and a social history of the English.