UCL News


French seal of approval for UCL academic

19 November 2007

Links: Napoleon duped the British over Copenhagen A book about Napoleon, written by a UCL historian, was given the stamp of approval by a French academic institution today.

Napoleon and Alexander the First of Russia

'Defying Napoleon: How Britain Bombarded Copenhagen and Seized the Danish Fleet in 1807' received substantial media attention earlier this year when it uncovered important evidence that Napoleon planted deliberately misleading reports, which played a significant role in the British attack on Copenhagen in 1807.

Dr Thomas Munch-Petersen, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Scandinavian and International History at UCL, received the Fondation Napoléon's 'Grand Prix History Prize' for a non-francophone work on the history of France's First or Second Empires.

Dr Munch-Petersen said: "The Copenhagen attack's largely been forgotten, and even brushed under the carpet by the British. I felt it was important to make it visible again. It has definite relevance to readers today; people will see the parallels with the intelligence that led Britain to war in Iraq.

"It's great to get recognition for the book from such a respected French academic institution."

Princess Alix Napoléon will present the prize at the Jockey Club in Paris.

The book was published by Stroud: Sutton this year and was recently translated into Danish.

UCL Scandinavian Studies is the largest and oldest of its kind in Britain. It offers courses in Danish, Norwegian and Swedish covering a wide range of literary, historical and linguistic options in both the medieval and modern fields.

By Alex Brew, UCL D&CCO
A British satirical print of the first meeting of the two Emperors: Alexander the First of Russia and Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1807. Copyright the Trustees of The British Museum.