Napoleon Bonaparte’s long reign of terror in Europe was finally brought to an
end at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815. Attempting to flee to America, the
fallen emperor surrendered when his ship was intercepted by the British navy.
While the Prince Regent considered Napoleon’s optimistic request to reside in
England, the prisoner was held off the Devon coast on the warship HMS
Before the decision was made to send ‘Boney’ into exile on St Helena, the
celebrity became an instant tourist attraction as thousands of people flocked to the
area and took boat trips hoping to catch a glimpse of the infamous ‘Disturber of the
Newspapers were filled with lurid accounts of the great dictator as he paced
the deck of the massive British warship in full view of the boatloads of sightseers.
Artists recorded the scene and poets wrote epic verse.
Prefaced with a summary of the key campaigns during the French Revolutionary
and Napoleonic Wars, author Mike Holgate takes up the story during the
aftermath of the Duke of Wellington’s momentous victory at Waterloo, recounting
public reaction, newsworthy incidents, eye witness accounts and anecdotes
recorded during Napoleon’s fateful two-week mid-summer sojourn in England.
Mike Holgate lives in Torquay and has combined three careers as a
writer, musician and librarian since obtaining an honours degree
from Plymouth University in 1988. The author of several books, he has
contributed articles to newspapers and magazines and has acted as
an advisor and researcher for programmes produced by BBC Radio
Devon and Granada Television.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 0 85704 260 6, hardback, 210x148mm, 128 pages. Published May 2015.