...The Army of the Kingdom of Naples 1806-1815, Helion & Company, via Casemate Books
Title: Murat's Army
Author: Digby Smith
Publisher: Helion and Company
Another paperback format book in the From Reason to Revolution series from Helion Books. The subject of Murat's Army is an interesting one. The French under Napoleon took over the kingdom in 1806, when he appointed his brother Joseph to be King of Naples. In 1808, when Joseph took on the crown of Spain, and Napoleon's brother-in-law, Joachim Murat replaced him in Naples. This background and more is provided in an introduction which starts the book off, and Murat went on to become well known for his role as Napoleon's flamboyant cavalry commander.
The main body of the book however are a collection of about 100 full colour illustrations done by a French military illustrator, Henri Boisselier. Born in 1881 he became a prolific illustrator, and apparently able to draw out a figure in 15-20 minutes. His pictures capture the appropriate look and feel of the period figures, though some of the finer detail may sometimes have errors. It is his drawings of the Army of Naples which we see here. Each illustration fills a single page, and it is the author who has added notes background detail to the units being illustrated, and any details that may be open to question on them. The illustrations are organised into 9 sections, each one introduced by some background text. The sections cover Staff Officers and Aides-de-Camp: the Royal Guard: Line Cavalry: Line Infantry: Light Infantry: Technical Troops: Internal Security Forces : and Navy.
As well as being useful to anyone with an interest in Napoleonic History, this is a marvellous reference that will be a popular among wargamers and figure modellers in providing excellent detail on uniforms and their colours as worn by such a variety of different arms of Murat's Army.
Distributed by Casemate Books, who kindly provided my review copy.