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Napoleon's Army 1790-1815 by Lucien Rousselot

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Jim Patrick, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Jim Patrick Active Member

    Just got this in the mail today. Ordered from Amazon (excellent service btw). This is a 400 page book combining the uniform plates of Lucien Rousselot into one book. As some of you may already know, Lucien Rousselot's plates are simply the best reference available for Napoleonic French uniforms. He conducted over 30 years of research BEFORE putting anything into print all of which was from first hand sources (many of which were surviving uniforms). His first work was published in 1943 France. So you see? It's not just my opinion that his work simply IS the best reference for Napoleonic uniforms. A short study will show this to be a recognized fact.

    One of the first things that struck me when opening this book was the quality that went into the construction. Not just the binding but the actual layout as well. All subjects are broken down in a very readable fashion. Line units are followed by Gaurd units. These are, of course, seperated by Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, etc. All of the Rousellot plates are presented (FINALLY!) in one book. Many of these plates were long since out of print and are extremely hard to find (the Line Lancer plates come to mind). The plates are not in the original format but are instead broken down in a very orderly fashion along with the accompanying text presented along with the paintings. This will be useful to some just due to the fact that some plates did not have the English translation. Now the translation is right beside the painting in question. I found this very useful.

    One thing I did not like. Without reading the entire book, there are still some things lost in translation from French to English. The dreaded "Sky Blue". For instance, within Hussars regiments, there were 4 different shades of "sky blue".
    Bleu national
    Bleu céleste foncé
    Bleu céleste
    Bleu de ciel
    As I said before, unfortunately, all of these are lost in the translation from French to English.

    With that said, it's a minor complaint at best. I HIGHLY reccommend this book to anyone interested in Napoleonic uniforms (y)(y).

    Jim Patrick

    Attached Files:

    gordy likes this.
  2. gordy Well-Known Member

    Nice and excellent acquisition Jim! :)
  3. megroot A Fixture

    Thanks Jim,
    What are the cost's of these bible.

  4. Jim Patrick Active Member

    Thanks Gordy and Marc. Good question on the cost as I meant to (and didn't :() speak about this in the review.

    You can get this reference book through Amazon. It lists for $95 but you can get it for about $85 with a new program Amazon is offering.

    Either way, you are still getting a bargain when you consider the cost of the original plates. When you take the costs of the plates at $10 apiece and figure in roughly 100 plates? You get an idea for what it will cost to own the Rousselot plates. Now you can pay roughly $100 and own them all combined into one book? It's a bargain ANY painter should not turn down regardless if he/she paints Nappies or not. As we all know (and have learned the hard way) a figure is released and eventually discontinued several years later. But still, it's rather easy to find one, you just have to pay a steep price. Books? Well, they are different. Books go to print and eventually, are not printed anymore. After that? That's it. Kiss the baby goodbye and GOODLUCK getting someone to part with a reference book as important as this one (y).

    Go buy the book, it's money well invested in your hobby. Much more so than any figure/paint/tool.

    Jim Patrick
  5. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter


    Andrea were selling this at Euro for £50 (Historex had it at £85), I bought mine from a dealer on Amazon for £55 including postage.
    I echo all of Jims remarks this is a long overdue publication and a must for uniform reference.
  6. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

  7. blaster Well-Known Member


    Thanks for these links. Great looking pics!

    Rgds Victor
  8. Patrick Kamsma Active Member

    can anyone tell me what the differences are with Jim's book and this one.


    I saw this book at a show in Holland last weekend. Has lots of color plates (didn't check the text though) and is a lot cheaper.

    Sorry to spoil your topic Jim, but maybe we get a comparison.

  9. Nappy1 New Member

    There is no comparison. One's a pretty book and the other's the standard on virtually ALL Napoleonic uniforms by THE French expert of modern times. Details, weapons, equipment, accuracy - nothing is lacking. Forego one or two new figures and buy the Rousselot book. You'll never regret it.
    Jim Patrick likes this.
  10. Nappy1 New Member

    Should have said on ALL FRENCH Napoleonic uniforms. Sorry.
    Jim Patrick likes this.
  11. Tecumsea PlanetFigure Supporter

    Hello Patrick,

    I have both books and the one you have pictured is also a good reference, (there is a sister book in the same series "uniforms of the American war of independence") however as mentioned in the previous post the Rousselot book will become the bible unless you are lucky enough to own one of the plate issues..............if you are into Napoleonics it is a book not to be missed.
  12. Patrick Kamsma Active Member

    Ok. Thanks guys.
    I just got back from Paris last week and visited Hotel Les Invalides.
    They have a massive museum with Napoleonic costumes and weapons and it got me fired up to invest more time in the Napoleon era.
    Unfortunatly you are not allowed to take photo's with flash, so the photo's I have are crap and the book can help me a lot I think.

    So, I just ordered the Russelot book. If it's as good as everybody says, then 60 euro's is a bargain (and maybe even an investment for the future).

  13. Jim Patrick Active Member

    TRUST me Patrick, it's as good as everyone says it is (y). And then some!

    As Bill has already said....there really is no comparision when you look at the body of work done by Lucien Rouesslot.

    Jim Patrick
  14. John Bowery A Fixture

    How does the books by Funcken stack up in this area? I have both volumes in English of the Napoleons.
  15. Jaybo Active Member

    Gentlemen (and Wendy),
    I picked up this book last week from Amazon (the way to go by the way as far as price). It is a MUST for the period IMO. I already own several of the original prints (inherited from my father) and some reprints. It, along with the Elting (an American Rousselot) compilations are absolutely necessary if one wants to accurately paint Napoleonics. I have a virtual library on the field. There is so much misinformation out there to avoid.
    My late father was 'Talisman' ("Days of the Empire" series) of Milihistriot (the late Bob Bard) fame from the late 50's and '60's for those of you old enough to remember. That was a period of the great unknown as far as uniformology. I still have his research from that period....mostly translations from French secondary sources. Currently, there is a plethora of 'stuff' out there but so much of it is either incomplete or flat out wrong. Be careful.

  16. Ron Tamburrini A Fixture

    High Jim
    If you let me know your E mail address
    I will send you some pics I took at the Le invalids Paris

    with varying degrees of french blue, can't get any better reference than this,
    you may be surprised at the different shades I still have some of the old coppernic books too , and are the holy grail but all in french(y)
  17. Jim Patrick Active Member

    But of course I will HAPPY to see your pictures (y)

    Jim Patrick
  18. Alex A Fixture

    i gave both books too and the one by rousselot is the bible. i think i got it new from amazon on sale for 50$ or so one year ago


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