Six years after the death of Napoleon, Sir Walter Scott wrote a hugely successful biography that was instantly controversial and led to him being challenged to duels. It was the ideal combination between the man who revolutionised literary Europe and the man who transformed the face of politics. The Times extracted the book in its first ever serialisation, and, accompanied by Harry Potter-like showmanship, the biography was published simultaneously in France, Germany and Italy. His thundering assault on Napoleon, based on access to secret government papers, was the inspiration for historians such as Carlyle and remains fresh, surprising and important to this day.
Sir Walter Scott is one of Britain's most important writers, and the inventor of the thriller genre with Ivanhoe. Richard Michaelis edited and provided the notes. He teaches history at the University of Oxford where he is a member of Hertford College.