My brother Mitch was the President of RIMMS (Rhode Island Military
Minature Society). As a member of this society he was able to endulge
in his hobby of painting figures. To support this hobby he became a
dealer in miscellaneous military items like: minature figures, books,
prints, uniforms, etc. He would attend figure and toy soldier shows
around the Northeast where he would sell his wares and join the other
exhibitors. As inventory grew it became clear that he needed help
with his road trips. This is where I come in.
After a year of so of assisting him I decided to peddle some goods
for myself while I was hanging around minding the booth. Having
always had an interest in Napoleon I decided to specialize in that
area. I applied for my Rhode Island Sales license in 1986 and Empire
Books was born.
Ten years later my collection of books has grown from a handful to
over 500. I have a variety of different subjects I've collected.
- Biographies of Napoleon or General Histories - I have about 60
of these. Once you have read a couple you probably don't need
anymore. I'm at the stage that I don't collect these unless they
are particularly unusual. Chandler's CAMPAIGN'S OF NAPOLEON and
Sloane's LIFE OF NAPOLEON are the only two I finished reading and
I thought they were both very good.
- Campaign or Battle books - I have about 150 of these. They
start in 1793 and run through his Last Will. Some campaigns are
covered by lots of books while others have only a few books
available. I have about 20 on Waterloo, 20 on the Russian campaign
of 1812 and about 35 on the Peninsular wars. I do enjoy reading at
least a couple of books on each major campaign. The Petre series
is good as are the Osprey paperbacks. AUSTERLITZ: Glory Years by
Scott Bowden is one of my favorites.
- Family and Friends - 120 or so here. This is an interesting
area because many of the books are first hand accounts and their
opinions and ideas about Napoleon and the things that transpired
during that period are enlightening. Having finished Stanton's
BONAPARTE'S I can't help but feel that Napoleon deserved more from
his brothers and sisters. I also find Napoleon's letters to be
- Memiors - 100 or more of these. Memiors are my favorites.
While it is good to understand the grand tactics used on a
campaign it is something special to sit down with a road weary
grognard and share a boiled potato and piece of pork fat. That
first person perspective can pick you up and transport you to the
jubilance and excitment of the torch procession on the eve of
Austerlitz or to the dark, dank, sweat shop in the belly of a
British man-of-war. Marbot's memoirs are my favorite but I've also
enjoyed De Rocca, and Paquin.
- Military Studies - maybe 80. Here is an opportunity to
understand the mechanics of warfare as well as survival during
Napoleonic warfare. The 'Cavalry' books by David Johnson are among
the most highly praised books I sell. SWORDS AROUND THE THRONE by
Col. Elting may be the most universally recommended book on this
Have you ever wanted to own some real 1st Empire items? I have
sometimes purchased authentic coins from my friend Tim Kirkpatrick's
of Kirks's Coins. If you are interested drop me a line and I'll
forward his email address.
The Real World
Though I have a lot of fun with this stuff and I have learned a
lot it doesn't pay the bills. To earn a buck I work with computers,
and I have done a lot of that. From a 2nd shift operator on an old
IBM System 3, to a CICS Assembler Programmer at a nationwide
insurance company, a MIS Project Leader for Sheraton hotels, a
consultant/Basic programmer for a consulting firm, a MIS Manager at a
manufacturing plant, and finally as an independant consultant working
on PC's and Mac's. Twenty years in computers and I guess it is
natural that I'd set up a web page to advertise my books.
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