Friday, November 15, 2013

Napoleon's Cavalry

Emir Bukhari
This week I finished reading Napoleon's Cavalry, by Emir Bukhari, illustrated by Angus McBride.  Supplied by my local library system, this book is a single volume compilation of five Osprey Men-At-Arms titles, and was published in 1979.  It covers Napoleon's Cuirassiers and Carabiners, Dragoons/Lancers, Hussars, Line Chasseurs, as well as Guard cavalry units.  I got it as a painting aid for the Perry plastic dragoons on foot that I got a while back.

Considering that Osprey still sells the constituent volumes for £10, this book seems to be an excellent value for anyone who is building more than one sort of regiment, or who just likes to look at colorful illustrations, particularly as it can be had used on Amazon for as little as $15. (or possibly free from your library)

This book does have the usual Osprey "style", where color plates are separated from relevant text, all other images are in black and white, and far too much attention paid to officers and other unusual members of a unit, but this is somehow more excusable in a book published in 1979 than it is in their modern reprints.

As you can see from the scan below, the original artwork is quite excellent, as you might expect from an Angus McBride book. With so many plates, the book is worthwhile to review, even if you do not value the text.
Who else would illustrate a Dragoon officer cleaning his muddy boot?
Speaking of the text, Mr. Bukhari's prose is quite refreshing, particularly after reading the mess that was my last Osprey title...  The text for the more important books covers uniforms, deployments, equipment, saddles, and all sorts of side information that makes it very entertaining.

So in conclusion, I highly recommend this book, and will be buying it for myself sometime in the future.

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