To continue with my trend of recommending history podcasts, I want to share that I’ve found another impressive addition to my growing library of them. The Age of Napoleon is about the titular historical figure, the famous (and infamous) Corsican artillery officer that became Emperor of France and, almost, ruler over all of Europe. I want to call attention to this podcast because of how much the author* goes into great historical detail without making the events of the time period too overwhelming for the layman to understand. To illustrate this point, all one has to do is see how the early podcast episodes have been laid out, broken up into lengthy but interesting summaries of the nations that will themselves become central “characters” in Napoleon’s story. I’ve read multiple books on this time period myself and have been surprised at the level of detail to be found here.
I also want to give it a shout out for being an extremely good summary of how the French Revolution came to pass. This is a complicated and major event in world history, one made yet more convoluted by the attack on intellectuals and recorded knowledge throughout. This makes it difficult for many historians to address, but is a challenge I think the author manages quite admirably. An example of this is in one of my favorite episodes thus far (“Fractures”), which is 45 minutes focusing entirely on the myriad societal tensions that would lead to the execution of the King, the Reign of Terror and, eventually, Napoleon Bonaparte himself. A podcast going into this amount of preliminary detail on a tricky historical event, and doing so in a fresh and understandable manner, is a diamond in the rough, and one well worth checking out.
You’ll note that my examples focus on events prior to Napoleon’s rise because, at the time of this writing, The Age of Napoleon is incomplete and the author only eight episodes in. Nonetheless, I am optimistic for the future of the podcast and hope that others will come to listen & reach the same conclusion. Fingers crossed the author is able to get the resources he needs to finish this project and that he is able to reach an ever larger audience as time goes on!
* Based on his admission in the podcast, the author is a university, graduate, or PhD student at some level. But his name hasn’t been shared yet at this time (or, at the very least, I couldn’t find it), so I simply mention him as “the author” throughout this piece. If this changes, I will come back and edit the post at that time.