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BOOKS

A Reluctant Hero: The Life of Captain Robert Ryder V.C.

(Pen & Sword Books, 2011)

The biography of the man who led the famous Raid on St Nazaire in 1942. Before the war he had been a pioneering ocean-going yachtsman and polar explorer. After the war, he sat as a Conservative MP from 1950 to 1955.

The book has garnered more than 90 reviews on Amazon and is rated 4.5 stars.

Pistols at Dawn: A History of Duelling

(Portrait, 2007)

Duelling is deeply embedded in our collective consciousness, through numerous films and books: it evokes a golden past, of gentlemen defending their honour in the early morning light of a wooded glade, of frockcoats, rapiers and pistols.

Reviews included:

“Thoroughly absorbing history … Hopton’s prose races along, bringing to rich and detailed life the insanity and insouciance of this terrible sport.”
Daily Telegraph.

“Here may be all you need to know about duelling – from its origins, possibly in a challenge issued by the Holy Roman Emperor to the French King in 1528, to its fizzling out before the second world war.”
Financial Times

“A fluent and entertaining history of the practice of duelling”
Times Literary Supplement

“A learned, absorbing account of duelling”
Literary Review

The Battle of Maida, 1806

(Pen & Sword, 2002)

A history of the little-known Napoleonic Battle of Maida between the British and the French fought in Calabria in July 1806. The battle – a resounding if largely forgotten British victory – gave its name to the London district of Maida Vale.

Reviews included:

M.R.D.Foot in the Times Literary Supplement, June 2002.

Reviewed by Piers Mackesy in Journal of Army Historical Research, where he commended the book’s “easy style and lively story, and … its interesting detail and thoughtful interpretation”.

Selected by Andrew Roberts in the Sunday Telegraph as his summer holiday reading, June 2002.

“Thoroughly absorbing history … Hopton’s prose races along, bringing to rich and detailed life the insanity and insouciance of this terrible sport.”
Daily Telegraph.

“Here may be all you need to know about duelling – from its origins, possibly in a challenge issued by the Holy Roman Emperor to the French King in 1528, to its fizzling out before the second world war.”
Financial Times.

“A fluent and entertaining history of the practice of duelling”
Times Literary Supplement.

“A learned, absorbing account of duelling”
Literary Review.

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