Taking the epic conflicts of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars three months at a time. Each episode features interviews with leading historians of the period, covering the campaigns, diplomacy and political dramas of an extraordinary 24 years.
CHARLES ESDAILE vs the Napoleonic myth
Professor Emeritus Charles Esdaile of the University of Liverpool discusses his never-ending crusade against the many myths and misperceptions which predominate about the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic period. This interview was the first recorded for this podcast in the spring of 2020. An alternative title might therefore have been 'CHARLES ESDAILE on the Napoleonic Quarterly', as much of what is discussed is framed around the challenge faced by this podcast in its attempt to present a synthesis of these 24 astonishing years.
JACQUELINE REITER on Sir Home 'Facepalm' Popham
Dr Jacqueline Reiter discusses the subject of her second autobiography, Sir Home Riggs Popham, an extraordinary man whose ability to persuade the British government to go along with his ideas was only matched by his ability to make a botch of them.
You can watch more of Jacqueline talking about Sir Home's career from [4:10] in her contribution to the recent Massena Society Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf4w40aV4Nk
PHILIP BALL on the farcical French Revolutionary Wars
Military historian and author Philip Ball discusses his experience researching and writing his book Neither Up Nor Down: The British Army and the Flanders Campaign 1793-1795 (2020), as well as his reflections on the odd vagaries - and odd personalities - of the period.
Episode 08: Q4-1793 - The Vendée horror
1793. October, November, December. Three months in which Napoleon Bonaparte helps the French retake Toulon… the Austrians set themselves up for a fall at Wattingnies… and in the Caribbean the situation on Saint Domingue descends further into the mire. This is episode eight of the Napoleonic Quarterly – covering three months in which the French revolutionaries crush their enemies within and without through the merciless use of brute force.
[4:15] – An extended opening section in which Charles Esdaile tells the story of the horror of the Vendee during this quarter
[15:15] – Alexander Mikaberidze on the recapture of Toulon
[29:20] – Philip Ball on the Austrian siege of Mauberge and the Battle of Wattingnies
[46:25] – Christy Pichichero on Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Slave Revolt up to the end of 1793
Plus from [1:05:43] Charles Esdaile and Alex Mikaberidze sum up not just this three months but the entire two years covered by season one.
Also, keep on listening for the final three minutes! It's got lots of thunder!
Episode 07: Q3-1793 - The bloody Terror
1793. July, August, September. Three months in which the machinery of the Terror grinds into action… Toulon hands itself over to the Allies but is soon under siege… And Allied hopes of making progress against the border fortresses protecting France in Flanders meet another major setback. This is episode seven of the Napoleonic Quarterly – covering three months in which Napoleon Bonaparte first makes his mark on the Revolution.
[11:48] – Marisa Linton on the beginnings of the Terror
[23:56] – Alexander Mikaberidze on the Federalist Revolts and Toulon’s uprising
[46:25] – Paul Demet on the campaign in the Low Countries and the Battle of Hondschoote
Plus from [36:40] Charles Esdaile and Alexander Mikaberidze discuss Napoleon Bonaparte who arrives on the scene for the first time; and from [1:05:13] they assess the situation at the end of this turbulent three months.
Episode 06: Q2-1793 - The Jacobin takeover
1793. April, May, June. Three months in which a leading French general defects to the Allies... In Paris the game is up for the ruling Girondin faction as the sans-culottes and the Jacobins force them out… and revolt and insurrection erupts in the Vendee. This is episode six of the Napoleonic Quarterly – covering three months in which the Jacobins mount their takeover of the revolution.
[08:40] - David Andress on the Vendee
[21:43] - Marisa Linton on the downfall of the Brissotins
[37:14] - Philip Ball on Dumouriez's defection
Plus from [52:43] Charles Esdaile and Alexander Mikaberidze size up the state of play at the end of this three-month period and look ahead to the big cliffhangers and question-marks as we head into the second half of 1793.
Does a really good job of going in depth, while still maintaining an overall picture of the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars.