Sir Walter Scott's epic biography of French political leader Napoleon was his only work of historical non-fiction.
The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French, was originally published in nine volumes, containing more than one million words.
But expert Dr Richard Michaelis has managed to annotate and whittle down the momentous work to a concise one volume, containing Scott's first-hand insights and historical facts and stories that are fresh and interesting for the modern reader and historian.
The biography was an international publishing phenomenon, which proved to be the turning point in Scott's finances, enabling him to remain at his home, Abbotsford House, near Melrose. But his negative comments about Napoleon did not go down well with the Emperor's followers, one of whom challenged Sir Walter to a duel.
Scott, a novelist, playwright and poet, popular throughout much of the world in the 19th century, was born in Edinburgh in 1771.