By Mark Urban
George Scovell, an engraver’s apprentice, joined the British army on the Iberian peninsula during the Napoleonic wars. Soon this man of common birth would change the course of history. A linguistic genius, Scovell was assigned to Wellington’s headquarters when he obtained a handwritten copy of an obscure book on ciphering and easily began cracking the basic codes used in French dispatches. But as the enemy changed from simple ciphers to sophisticated encoded messages, Scovell had to race against time to break the code and save the British army before it was crushed by Bonaparte’s juggernaut.
Colorful period detail, a fast-paced narrative, the thrill of clashing armies, challenging puzzles, and the personal struggle of a long-forgotten hero make The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Code a gripping—and brain-teasing—reading adventure.