First Empire: The International Magazine for the Napoleonic Enthusiast, Historian, and Gamer

First Empire: The International Magazine for the Napoleonic Enthusiast, Historian, and Gamer
Editor Dave Watkins
Categories history
Frequency Bi-monthly (6 per year)
Publisher First Empire Ltd.
Final issue 2011
Country UK
Based in Bridgnorth[1]
Language English
ISSN 0969-0689

First Empire: The International Magazine for the Napoleonic Enthusiast, Historian, and Gamer was a bimonthly Napoleonic history magazine published in the United Kingdom.

Notable authors

Professor Christopher Blackburn of the University of Louisiana at Monroe wrote an article on "Napoleon & Poland" for the magazine. The author explained, "First Empire remains popular and maintains a large international readership because its subscribers, whether professional historians or enthusiastic re-enactors, hold the common bond of being interested in the history of the Napoleonic Era ... It’s a great place to publish because too often academic historians are writing only for other historians and not for the community that just love to explore our past."[2]

Table of issues

Issue(s) Date(s) Cover story
Issue Number 104 January/February 2009 "This Month: Respectable Spies Prince Jerome and more..."
Issue 105 March/April 2009 "This Issue: Günzberg, Invading France, Re-enactment, Relics and much more"
106 May/June 2009 "This issue... Denis Davidov Napoleon's Desk Mask Wellington's Worst Scrape ...And more!"
107 July/August 2009 "This issue... Paul I and The collapse of France Regiment d'Isembourg Sabugal"
108 September/October 2009 "This issue... 45éme Eagle Sir Charles Brisbane Legion d'honneur And More..."


Max Sewell, a Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society praises the magazine as "the result of the hard work and devotion of a number of individuals who donate their time and effort to writing and reporting on their interests, travels, and studies. They do not appear to be paid for their efforts, but we are all rewarded by their fine work."[1] By contrast, a more critical reviewer rates "First Empire a 'try before you buy.' What strikes me as a lack of focus may strike you as wonderful breadth and variety. Nuggets that feel to me unconnected and wandering may appeal to you. But at about $55 per year (6 issues) it is not a subscription to be picked up on a whim."[3]


Following the printer of this journal ceasing to trade, the magazine itself has stopped production; issue 116 was the last to be printed, in January 2011, and issue 117 was the last to be produced in digital form.

Death of the former editor

Dave Watkins, founder and editor of First Empire and Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society, died on Wednesday 3 June 2015 after losing a short but decisive battle with pancreatic cancer. "Follow The Eagle".


  1. 1 2 Max Sewell, "Review of First Empire: The International Magazine for the Napoleonic Enthusiast, Historian and Gamer," The Napoleon Series (12/99).
  2. "International publication features work of ULM History Professor". Office of University relations, media relations, ULM. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2009.
  3. "Other Reviews: First Empire Magazine," Deep Fried Happy Mice: The World’s First Online Miniatures Restaurant.
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