PERSONAL: Male. Education: Harvard University, A.B., Ph.D.
CAREER: University of Delaware, Newark, DE, assistant professor of history.
Contributor to periodicals, including Representations and Past and Present.
SIDELIGHTS: Historian Stuart Semmel's Napoleon and the British is a study of Britain in the early nineteenth century as reflected by attitudes toward Napoleon. "The strength of the research," observed Spectator reviewer Christopher Woodward, "is [the author's] knowledge of the press and pamphleteering of the time; this book clatters with printing presses and is animated by an inky-fingered enthusiasm for the volatile language of popular politics." Attitudes toward Napoleon changed during his reign, decline, exile on Elba, and the years the French emperor spent in custody from the time of his final defeat at Waterloo until his death in 1821. Dorothy Potter noted in a History: Review of New Books article that because Semmel's biography does not follow the usual format, it is helpful for readers to know the background of Napoleon's career before reading it. Potter added that "while intended for a scholarly audience, Napoleon and the British is engagingly written, providing insights for scholars and general readers interested in history and the media's role in shaping public opinion."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
History: Review of New Books, spring, 2005, Dorothy Potter, review of Napoleon and the British, p. 109.
Spectator, December 18, 2004, Christopher Woodward, review of Napoleon and the British, p. 83.