Waterloo Witnesses: Military and Civilian Accounts of the 1815 Campaign
Pen and Sword Military (June 30, 2021)
Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN-13 : 9781399003629
The events of Sunday, 18 June, stand as the defining moment of the year 1815, if not of an entire era. The allied victory over Napoleon’s French army at the Battle of Waterloo reshaped governments and boundaries, made or broke fortunes and touched thousands of lives in ways both large and small, and it has been analysed, dissected and refought on paper a hundred times.
Perhaps, though, the very best words ever written about that momentous campaign are the first-person accounts recorded as events unfolded. It is these vivid accounts that Kristine Hughes has collected together in order to convey the hopes, fears and aspirations of their authors. They inject the story of the battle with a level of humanity that reclaims it from the realm of legend and restores it to the people who witnessed it.
In chronological order her work pieces together a novel view of the battle and events surrounding it as they were experienced by both military men and civilians. The result is a fascinating and varied picture of the individuals involved and the society of the period. Their words make compelling reading.
Since 1995, Kristine Hughes Patrone has been indulging her interest in British history by making frequent trips to the UK. Her research trips led her to writing several non-fiction books, including Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England. For the past six years, Kristine has published a blog, Number One London, along with fellow authors and anglophiles Victoria Hinshaw and Louisa Cornell, focusing on all aspects of British history from the Georgian period on and where she regularly posts about her travels across the pond. Kristine created tour itineraries and guided groups to England for travel company Novel Explorations for two decades before launching her own company, Number One London Tours. There’s nothing she enjoys more than bringing history to life and introducing new friends to the wonders of Great Britain.
Definitely on my wish list, but then again my wife reckons you could add the word “Waterloo” to a toilet roll holder, and I’d buy it! She might be right, a quick scan of my library app shows the word “Waterloo” or “1815” appearing in 60% of the titles. With the extensive archive unearthed by @Gareth Glover I think it unlikely that I’ll discover too many new military eyewitness accounts. However, I’m looking forward to seeing more civilian perspectives.