The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes: The Story of George Scovell by Mark L. Urban

The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes: The Story of George Scovell by Mark L. Urban lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Biography section.

London: Faber & Faber, 2001, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Colour plates; Black & white plates; Maps; Photographic end papers & blanks;

From the cover: In 1812 two mighty armies manoeuvred across the Spanish plains. They were finely balanced, under skilful leaders. Each struggled to gain an advantage. Wellington knew that if he defeated the French, he could turn the tide of the war. Good intelligence was paramount, but the French were using a code of unrivalled complexity the Great Paris Cipher. It was a daunting challenge, and Wellington looked to one man to break the code: Major George Scovell.

In this compelling account of the officer who waged the intelligence battle against Napoleons army, Mark Urban shows Scovell to be a forerunner to the great code-breakers of the twentieth century. Using a network of Spanish guerrillas, Scovell amassed a stack of coded French messages, and set to work decrypting them. But as a man of low birth, Scovell even with his genius for languages, and bravery on a dozen battlefields struggled for advancement amongst Wellingtons inner circle of richer, better connected officers. Mark Urban draws on a wealth of original sources, including many ciphers and code-tables, to restore Scovell to his rightful place in history.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Gently bruised at the head of the spine and the top corners of the boards with commensurate wear to the dust wrapper. Price Clipped. Edges of the text block lightly tanned. Hinges slightly week at the first and last blankls. Text complete, clean and tight.

Black boards with White titling to the Spine. [XIV] 333 pages. Index. 9½” x 6¼”.

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