The Illustrious Dead: The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon's Greatest Army

The Illustrious Dead: The Terrifying Story of How Typhus Killed Napoleon's Greatest Army

Stephan Talty


“Gripping . . . a compelling tale of private hubris and humbling defeat.”
—Jack Weatherford,author of the New York Times bestseller Genghis Khan and the Making of the
Modern international

In a masterful twin narrative that pits the heights of human ambition and fulfillment opposed to the supremacy of nature, New York Times bestselling writer Stephan Talty tells the tale of a amazing ruler and a tiny microbe, antagonists whose fight could form the trendy world.

In the spring of 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte was once on the top of his powers. Forty-five million known as him emperor, and he commanded a country that was once the richest, such a lot cultured, and complex in the world. No military might stand opposed to his impeccably knowledgeable, brilliantly led forces, and his persevered sweep throughout Europe appeared inevitable.

Early that 12 months, reinforced via his successes, Napoleon became his attentions towards Moscow, helming the biggest invasion in human historical past. definitely, Tsar Alexander’s outnumbered troops might fall apart by contrast potent strength.

But one other robust and historical enemy awaited Napoleon’s males within the Russian steppes. Virulent and fast, this microscopic foe could carry the emperor to his knees.

Even because the Russians retreated earlier than him in disarray, Napoleon stumbled on his military disappearing, his frantic medical professionals powerless to give an explanation for what had struck down 100000 squaddies. The emperor’s vaunted army brilliance all of sudden appeared dead, and whilst the Russians placed their very own occupied capital to the torch, the crusade turned a determined race during the frozen panorama as troops endured to die by means of the hundreds of thousands. via all of it, with tragic heroism, Napoleon’s disease-ravaged, freezing, ravenous males one way or the other rallied, many times, to cries of “Vive l’Empereur!”

Yet Talty’s sweeping story takes us a long way past the doomed heroics and bloody clashes of the battlefield. The Illustrious Dead delves deep into the origins of the pathogen that at last ended the robust emperor’s goals of worldwide conquest and exposes this “war plague’s” hidden position all through heritage. A story of 2 unstoppable forces assembly at the highway to Moscow in an epic conflict of killer microbe and peerless military, The Illustrious Dead is a ancient whodunit within which 1000000 lives hold within the balance.

From the Hardcover edition.

Show sample text content

Download sample