Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The Napoleonic Library snapshot

One side of the wargames room has this wonderful bookcase built by fellow wargaming mate Steve

Many years ago I decided to commence cataloguing my collection of books in my library and thought it best to start at the largest section - Napoleonic.  As you can imagine it is always a task that takes discipline and a meticulous attention to detail.  That can be hard when miniature figurines and fighting table top battles are calling your name sooooo close to where you are completing "homework"!

Then of course I had my eureka moment.

Digital photography can be everyone's friend, including the lazy wargamer!

So without any further adieu a few shots of the Napoleonic bookcase shelves including some generic wargaming and uniform tomes.

A few favourites here.  Eltings Swords around a Throne is a cracking read.

On this first shelf are quite a few very good books that helped the young aspiring wargamer that was me understand the period a little better with every page.  Rogers "Napoleons Army" was a pick up at an early wargaming show put on by Mike W and Phil C many years ago.  A second hand book trader attended on the first night and was out of stock very early in the piece.  A few here that I have only skimmed through.  John Eltings book was a great holiday read by the pool in Kalabarri on an early holiday to the north of the state with Fiona many, many years ago.

The Oman's are an interesting collection.  They seem to divide Peninsular purists but I enjoyed them
In the very early days of our having purchased our first home together and starting with a new company these purchases were one a month from Boffins Bookshop in the city.  It was always great seeing the salesman Les and grabbing another volume on a Friday mid-month.
 
The same applies for this wonderful Greenhill Books collection.  Boffins was a godsend.

I actually managed to grab quite a few of the Greenhill books when Fiona and I were on holiday in England many years ago.  A great second-hand book agent selling from his home in Maidenhead.

I know people have strong opinions about Peter Hofrescher and on a personal level its not good at all.  His writing though is first class and the topics he covered were just as controversial.

On the shelf above is one of my favourite books on my favourite Napoleonic General Prince Eugene.  I religiously read this while still in high school while I was building the Army of Italy in 15mm for Empire III games at the Napoleonic Wargaming Society.  John Gills books are so informative and the often, at that time, ignored contribution of German units during the period gets a very good going over.

Well the Napier's are a must for anyone interested in the Peninsular chaps.  Christopher Duffy's books are sensational and are so well written that the most complicated scenarios and strategies are broken down and made understandable

More John Gills on the 1809 campaign and those wonderful Petre's. Gosh Marshall MacDonald also gets some space!

Arnold's books are a sensationally written, deep in detail and some great sources.  He is a wargamer as well so an added bonus.  The two volume set of the KGL was a great find at a long gone bookshop in Swanbourne called Burridges.

Fiona bought me my first copy of Chandlers Campaigns of Napoleon and it is a favourite.  The Folio Societies three volume set alongside it is a very nice piece of printing and publishing

Great set of books.  The CS Grants are wonderful.

Some crackers here.  The Anatomy of Glory, both first editions.  One purchased at Foyles in London for 100 quid!  What was I thinking.  The three part 1812 volumes were great reads whilst travelling between Perth and Sydney.

The famous Nafgizer trilogy on 1813 and the tremendous Polish books from Karabella on the Grand Duchy of Warsaw units.  They are the only reference you will ever need if collecting and painting Polish troops in the Napoleonic period...Murawski Miniatures of course!

Lots of general stuff here.  Remember when Funckens and Ospreys were nearly our only source for painting guides!

Great shelf here - the wonderful Military History Press volumes and the Bucqouys

Eltings, Adkins and H&C

Digby Smith aka Otto Von Pivka was always a favourite book from the UWA Library.  I jumped at the chance to buy my own many years later for $5.00.

I promised that I would rad Tolstoy's "War and Peace" cover to cover and over the course of six months travelling between Sydney and Melbourne short-haul flights I did.  The last 60 pages of Tolstoy postulations were hard work but the rest was pure magic - ahhh Natasha!.

Everyone loves a Blandford

Wargaming books - how much fun it was to discover these in the Midland library as a boy and then get a chance to slowly find copies for sale in second hand bookshops across the globe

Wargaming in History from Ken Trotman books are worth their weight in gold for we gamers

If you are anything like me I am always drawn to another gamers bookshelves to see what absolute treasures they may have and flick through the pages of long sought after volumes.  I hope that for some of you seeing the spines of some old favourites may bring some fond memories as they do for me everytime I walk up those stairs.

Best wishes until next time.


39 comments:

  1. Extraordinary collection in a handsome bookcase! Looking at your Napoleonic collection, we have a great percentage of books in common. I do enjoy looking at another’s library.

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    1. Isn't it amazing Jonathon that we are really hard wired similarly no matter where we wargamers are located. I love nothing more than tilting the head to one side and looking through others wonderful collections. I know the digital age is well and truly upon us but there is nothing like grabbing a book and flipping through its pages and seeing the plates first hand.

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    2. Yep. I think we are hardwired the same.

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  2. What a superb collection, I recognise many there! :)

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    1. Thank you Mark and Im sure you have quite a few yourself squirreled on the shelves in NZ.

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  3. A lovely collection of books Carlo... and so nice to have a place to put them...
    I remember spending quite a few years with most of my books in boxes... very frustrating.

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thank you very much Aly. I too was in the boxed library brigade when I returned home from Sydney and waiting for the home renovations to start and then be complete. There is nothing like taking up a cup of tea, listening to Classic FM on the radio and flicking through a volume or two.

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  4. You seem to be missing a few texts on the Napoleonic Wars Carlo.... just joking. Its great to see someone who has the wit to display their books in decent order. Mine are on bookshelves but not as well organised. Its great to see you had one of R.F Delderfield's books, he is sadly out of fashion but was one of my first purchases from a library sale in the 1970's. I also treasure his fictional novel, The Seven Men of Gascony which was inspirational all those years ago.

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    1. Thanks Robbie - that's what I tell my wife all the time..."Just one more volume...".

      I have Seven Men of Gascony as well and read it in high school. Fantastic story and really helped capture the essence of 1812 for my teenage mind.

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  5. Great collection, nicely arranged. Hurrah for well stocked bookshelves!

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    1. Thank you very much P. In fact Huzzar!!!

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  6. Now that is a heart-warming sight ;)

    FMB

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    1. Thank you very much FMB. I do enjoy the room.

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  7. A most wonderful library. I am sure many pleasant hours have been spent looking through the pages.
    Kindest Regards
    John

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    1. Absolutely John. Similar to yourself it is very easy to get lost upstairs some days when you have a project on and then suddenly see a book you have been meaning to research something in,. An hour later the paint is dry, the figure lies half-painted on the table looking back at you in disdain and its time to head back out. Great life!

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  8. Whaouh!
    So big library!
    is "La grande armée" your only book in french?
    ;-)

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    1. Hi Z and tanks for your kind comments. I actually have quite a few books in French which is a bit of a bigger since my mastery of the language is restricted to items of the uniforms of soldiers of the First Empire! I tend to have enough to muddle through the Bucquoys,Funckens and lovely Bey's. Funnily enough George Blonds "La Grande Armee" is actually in English.

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  9. Wonderful library! Well selected books.

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    1. Thank you Sergey. Isn't it amazing how everyone loves books. Warms the heart in this kindle and downloaded PDF age.

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  10. Awesome book collection - do I need a library card to join your club to borrow a book? :o)

    cheers,

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    1. A lazy $100 helps you bypass the whole card situation Phil...plus an airfare in your case mate.

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  11. That is an outstanding collection of books. My library is almost all digital and does not have the effect as a well stocked bookcase. 😀

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    1. Its funny Stew because I have so many other books and other publications on digital files and teh ones I really like I get printed and bound! Go figure.

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  12. What a wonderful collection, displayed in the best possible way. One way or the other I think I've owned the majority of those books sadly many had to go with various house moves etc but I agree it's rather good to sit back in the armchair, malt in hand and flick through various volumes in the collection

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    1. One of your old gifts to me sits on the shelves here as well Graham as I'm sure you recall. Always nice to take it out, read your thoughtful best wishes and enjoy a great read. I recall your sorting through the collection of both books, figures and terrain over the years and you are a more courageous and disciplined man than me my friend. All that training serving the community over the years I think.

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  13. What a great idea for a blog post Carlo and no wonder you present them so proudly. Quite the most spectacular collection of Napoleonic books imaginable. Glad to say I have quite a few of them but honestly I envy you all that traveling time able to read. My 30 years cycling to and from work doesn't quite measure up! Three cheers for "Seven Men of Gascony" - nice to know I'm in such good company as you and Robbie as fans of it. And you compliment me on my wargames room but phew - nothing like this mate!!

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    1. Chris thank you as always for your kind comments. I remember seeing the most wonderful photo of a wargame in progress in the 1960's or 70's (more likely the latter) with background of deep wood cabinets and book shelves and the image stuck. For some reason I thought it Was Suren gaming but that is just a guess. Would love to see that image again sometime. I do love your wargames room Chris and the thought of those lovely cooling breezes with your elevation is lovely. As you can see I have my balcony doors when their is a zephyr coming through and the lovely electronically refrigerated breeze in teh bookshelf for when the West Australian summer hits 40 degrees Celsius!!

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  14. Lovely looking library, books and miniatures are the only things I have difficulty disposing of!
    Best Iain

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    1. You and me both Iain. Thanks for the very kind words.

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  15. Enormous bookcase envy, and then there's the books on 'em too!

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    1. Thank goodness there are or the investment would never have passed the wife test ;^)

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  16. "Shelfies" are all the rage - apparently over taking the "selfie" for those who care.

    Great collection by the way, we overlap considerably but not entirely!

    Best wishes,

    Jeremy

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    1. Is that right Jeremy? When I took these photos I wondered why I had never seen photos of book shelves before for cataloguing, insurance purposes etc. Obviously I'm not floating in the same circles as you JJ. "Shelfies" hey...well I never.

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  17. A wonderful collection Carlo! As a collector of classic wargames books myself I enjoyed the last couple of shelves especially.

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    1. Thanks Millsy and greatly appreciated. That nostalgia element always brings me back. I think a big part of it was the initial introduction to formal rules for wargames at the library and just poring over every single picture in them with eleven year old envy. The Airfix Guide to Napoleonic Wargaming in its orange hard cover was almost on permanent loan at my place an the Russian defense of against the French attack is still so vivid in my mind that I can still see the units and formations now as I type. I wouldn't have picked that book up in a few years. Maybe this weekend with a cuppa...

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  18. We of course share a great many volumes in common. I am particularly envious of the fine bookcases!
    Overall, a fantastic "Shelfie"!

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    1. Thanks Peter - I very much love the book case as well. I'll take a few photos of the rest of the shelves and the matching figure cabinet on the other side in time but I am most fortunate indeed.

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  19. What a great bookcase! And what a great book collection!

    My bookcase is of similarish looks but no where near as grand in scale. And I can but applaud some of the books on display as I have them as well. But you seem to have many more books in a wonderful collection. Count me envious.

    Salute
    von Peter himself
    https://vonpeterhimself.wordpress.com/

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