Sir Arthur Conan Doyles Brigadier Gerard stories surely constitute the finest series of historical short stories in literature, mingling the comedy and the tragedy, the pathos and the irony, or, in Napoleons phrase, the sublime and the ridiculous. It is Napoleon and his Europe, his dedicated followers and the awakened nationalisms of the peoples they enraged, possessing our minds in savage realism and enrapturing romance. And in Brigadier Etienne Gerard, Arthur Conan Doyle created a hero worthy to take his place in the great line stretching from Homers Odysseus to George MacDonald Frasers Flashman, nearest of all perhaps to Stevensons Allan Breck and Wodehouses Bertie Wooster.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Canongate Books Ltd