#1 Bestseller in the U.K.
From the New York Times bestselling author and master of martial fiction comes the definitive, illustrated history of one of the greatest battles ever fought a riveting nonfiction chronicle published to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon s last stand.Read more...
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#1 Bestseller in the U.K.
From the New York Times bestselling author and master of martial fiction comes the definitive, illustrated history of one of the greatest battles ever fought a riveting nonfiction chronicle published to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Napoleon s last stand.
On June 18, 1815 the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days, the French army had beaten the Prussians at Ligny and fought the British to a standstill at Quatre-Bras. The Allies were in retreat. The little village north of where they turned to fight the French army was called Waterloo. The blood-soaked battle to which it gave its name would become a landmark in European history.
In his first work of nonfiction, Bernard Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting chronicle of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon s daring escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the three battlefields and their aftermath. Through quotes from the letters and diaries of Emperor Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, and the ordinary officers and soldiers, he brings to life how it actually felt to fight those famous battles as well as the moments of amazing bravery on both sides that left the actual outcome hanging in the balance until the bitter end.
Published to coincide with the battle s bicentennial in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy and of the final battle that determined the fate of nineteenth-century Europe."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Best known for his historical novels, Cornwell (The Empty Throne) puts years of research to good use for his first nonfiction work, a new look at the events of Waterloo, which is "one of the most studied and written-about battles in history," yet "like all good stories it bears repetition." He injects a human element into a thorough and entertaining account of the battle's overarching military themes by including anecdotes—some funny, some heartfelt—about the participants. For instance, he recounts the story of the Brunswick Black Legion, who infamously ate the canine unofficial mascot of the Irish 95th Rifles. Cornwell notes that "the battles of 16 June and 18 June 1815 make for a magnificent story," confessing that when he wrote Sharpe's Waterloo his "plot almost entirely vanished to be taken over by the great story of the battle itself." Here, his complex overview switches among the perspectives of Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, and other influential figures. Cornwell understands the ebb and flow of action, and his passion for the material keeps the narrative from feeling too dry. Waterloo may be a well-mined topic, but this new presentation is bound to satisfy lovers of military history. Maps & illus. (May)