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Death to the French [Paperback]

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Item description for Death to the French by C. S. Forester...

Separated from his regiment during a retreat, Rifleman Matthew Dodd of Wellington's army engaged the French single-handedly and eventually causes their retreat. If you liked "The Gun," you will love this book.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   252
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 9.25" Height: 6"
Weight:   0.86 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Simon Publications
ISBN  1931541728  
ISBN13  9781931541725  

Availability  0 units.

More About C. S. Forester

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Cecil Scott "C.S." Forester, born in Cairo in August 1899, was the fifth and last child of George Foster Smith and Sarah Medhurst Troughton. After finishing school at Dulwich College he attended Guy's Medical School but failed to finish the course, preferring to write than study. However, it was not until he was aged twenty-seven that he earned enough from his writing to live on.During the Second World War, Forester moved to the United States where he met a young British intelligence officer named Roald Dahl, whom he encouraged to write about his experiences in the RAF.Forester's most notable works were the Horatio Hornblower series, which depicted a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic era, and "The African Queen" (filmed in 1951 by John Huston). His novels "A Ship of the Line "and "Flying Colours" were jointly awarded the 1938 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.

C. S. Forester lived in the state of California. C. S. Forester was born in 1899 and died in 1966.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Action & Adventure
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Men's Adventure
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > War
5Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
6Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Suspense

Reviews - What do customers think about Death to the French?

Before Richard Sharpe there was Corporal Dodd ...,   Feb 28, 2007

Tells the story of a heroic soldier of humble origins who serves in the 95th Rifles during the war in Spain aginst Napoleon. But this one is the original and his name is Corporal Dodd.

Cecil Scott Forester is best known as the author of the Hornblower novels. But he wrote many other classics of wartime and civilian life, from "The Peacemaker" to "Death to the French."

In more recent times the title of this book made some publishers nervous about offending a country which is now a sometimes difficult ally, so it has also been published under the title of "Rifleman Dodd." The original title is far more honest - this is a brutal, brilliant, and realistic account of a savage war to the death.

This is one of the two books that Forester wrote about the Peninsular war, the other was "The Gun."

Through no fault of his own, Corporal Dodd is separated from his regiment. A less brave or resouceful man might have surrendered. Instead, he keeps up the fight against the French, while looking for his comrades.

The story is told through two viewpoints. The first is that of Corporal Dodd, the second that of a French squad under Sergeant Godinot: as Dodd picks off the French soldiers who at first greatly outnumber him, they come to regard him as an almost supernatural destroyer.

C.S. Forester's books usually present Napoleon as a force for evil, almost on a par with Hitler. This book is no exception, it takes completely for granted that the French cause is wrong, but Forester does not always present individual French soldiers (or their allies) in an unsympathetic light. In this book you feel almost sorry for the French as Dodd and the Spanish guerillas systematically wipe them out, one by one.

"Death to the French" is a not an easy read if you are in the least bit squeamish. One of the messages, reinforced in a very memorable way in the last paragraph of the book, is that War is Hell, and part of the reason Dodd is a successful soldier is that he can completely ignore the results of his actions on the human beings in the opposing army.

Some of the comments on this book by other reviewers seriously misrepresent it and should be answered.

The book does not glorify war - it makes clear how savage and brutal the fighting was to such an extent that it is almost an anti-war story. Forester did not believe that the Spanish and Portugese guerrillas were cowards or ineffective and I cannot believe that any intelligent person who has read "The Gun" or this book could possibly attribute that view to him.

Although Forester's characters often call Napoleon a tyrant they never suggest for a moment that he was a bad general or his soldiers were bad troops - Forester pointed out that Napoleon's Old Guard had "marched into every capital in Europe save London alone." But if Napoleon's British, Spanish, Prussian and Russian opponents had not also been brave and often capable men, how could we have beaten him?

Fully up to the standard of the Hornblower books, this is one of the most powerful war stories ever written.
This is the British title of 'Rifleman Dodd'  Aug 17, 2006
Whatever the virtues or failings of the book, to fail to note the above in the description of the book is reprehensible. That it is offered as a "better together" with 'Rifleman Dodd' is a perfect example of the not-so-old saying, "To err is human; to arrange a complete ####-up takes a computer."
rewriting history  Mar 17, 2006
Full of historical mistakes and a red neck guide to world history.
For starters:
The Spaniards and Portuguese were no cowards and fought a very effective guerrilla war against the French.
If the English were such good soldiers how come that they hid in their tiny island during most of the Napoleonic era and only showed up in the "fringes" of the Empire.
If Napoleon's soldiers were incompetent how come that they marched all the way to Moscow which no modern army could ever do?
Napoleon's armies won wars because he was a military genious and because the french soldiers were leading the first of the Nationalistic wars which led them to amazing victories against more numerous ennemies.
This book should be titled " Death to chickenhawks" liying about history to badly educated readers.
My history book  Sep 26, 2003
I thought this book was really good, i loved the intensity that dodd gave to you i strongly reccomend this books i have read a lot of books and this is one of the best of all the history books. any history teachers out there who are looking for a good read read this.
Another great from the late Great C.S. Lewis  Apr 18, 2003
I love this book probably because i served with the Royal Green Jackets in the British Army which are the desendants of the 95th Rifles.
It is very well written and i felt I was right there along with Dodd trying to get back to the British lines.

I wish i had read this book as a young Rifleman in my training i think it would have made me a better squadie.
I recomend this book to every young infantryman.
Its a must read.


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