The fall of an empire-by a great historian Every history book offers-inevitably-a perspective. Some historians are rightly judged to offer more considered analysis and skill in its explanation than others, and so their names endure. One such was F. Loraine Petre whose work on the history of the Napoleonic Wars has endured and is regarded by scholars and students of the period alike, as being of the highest order. This book is no exception. Here the author has taken as his subject the campaign that led to the abdication of the Emperor, a campaign that Napoleon fought with his back to wall, hard pressed by determined enemies and woefully under resourced after the Russian debacle. Here we see a great soldier-still in possession of phenomenal powers as a battlefield commander-fighting a losing battle with consummate skill.