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The Sword and the Spirit

Proceedings of the first ‘War & Peace in the Age of Napoleon’ Conference

Series : From Reason to Revolution 1721-1815 #70

Editor : Zack White


General - Pages : 178 | Images : 1 b/w ill, 5 tables, 1 diagram

Paperback - Date of Publication : June 2021 | Size : 245mm x 170mm | ISBN : 9781914059315 | Helion Book Code : HEL1324

More than two hundred years on, the Napoleonic Wars still fascinates, with fresh perspectives and new information continuing to develop our understanding of the era. Drawing on cutting-edge research presented at the British Commission for Military History’s inaugural ‘War and Peace in the Age of Napoleon’ Conference, this volume presents a rich array of papers from both established and emerging experts of the period. Featuring the work of Edward Coss, Andrew Bamford, Jacqueline Reiter, Alistair Nichols, Vanya Bellinger, Gavin Lewis, Silvia Gregorio-Sainz, and Hailey Stewart, The Sword and the Spirit examines some of the people, personalities, and policies that shaped the conflict.

From assessments of Napoleon’s mental state, to the actions of individuals such as Sir Home Popham and Carl von Clausewitz; from the siege of San Sebastian to the fields of Waterloo, this book considers the impacts that patronage, diplomacy, psychology, personal experiences, and the disobedience of established practices all had on the waging of war. In the process, it demonstrates the truth of Napoleon’s remark that the sword will always be conquered by the spirit.

Introduction: Character, morale, and personal endeavour in the Napoleonic Wars – Zack White

1: A Damning Diagnosis: Napoleon, Narcissism, Depression, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Edward J. Coss

2: ‘A Melville Expedition’: Sir Home Popham’s political networks and the Walcheren Expedition of 1809 – Jacqueline Reiter

3: Sir Home Popham’s mission in 1812: Santander, A British Logistics Centre? – Silvia Gregorio Sainz

4: “Never was there in the annals of war a more decided case of annihilation:” The Sack of San Sebastian, the Customs of War and Restraint and Excess During the Age of Napoleon – Gavin Lewis

5: Provisional Battalions Reconsidered: Wellington, York, and Manpower Management 1812–1814 – Andrew Bamford

6: It is not just about desertion: foreign soldiers and the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars – Alistair Nichols

7: ‘A Metaphysical Distinction’: British Policy and the Prussian Occupation of Hanover in 1801 – Hailey Stewart

8: A Timid Staff Officer? Reassessing Carl von Clausewitz’s Role in the Battles of Ligny and Wavre (16–20 June 1815) – Vanya Bellinger


"...The real gem of the publication, and great fun too, is Edward Coss’ article ‘A Damning Diagnosis: Napoleon, Narcissism, Depression, Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder’. Five American Army psychologists independently analyse Napoleon’s own words and conclude that he was more encumbered by psychological limitations than has been previously acknowledged. You have been warned!" The Napoleon Series

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