Waterloo

Waterloo

The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
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The Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller

'A fabulous story, superbly told ... cannot be bettered' Max Hastings

'Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.'

On the 18th June 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 British at Quatre-Bras and the Prussians at Ligny. The Allies were in retreat.

The blood-soaked battle of Waterloo would become a landmark in European history, to be examined over and again, not least because until the evening of the 18th, the French army was close to prevailing on the battlefield.

Now, brought to life by the celebrated novelist Bernard Cornwell, this is the chronicle of the four days leading up to the actual battle and a thrilling hour-by-hour account of that fateful day.

In his first work of non-fiction, Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting account of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon's escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the battlefields. Through letters and diaries he also sheds new light on the private thoughts of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, as well as the ordinary officers and soldiers.

Published to coincide with the bicentenary in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy - and of the final battle that determined the fate of Europe.

Publisher: London :, William Collins, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, 2014, ©2014.
ISBN: 9780007539383
9780007580194
Branch Call Number: 940. 27 COR
Characteristics: 352 pages : illustrations (chiefly colour), colour maps, portraits (chiefly colour) ; 24 cm

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megan_b Mar 24, 2016

Cornwell's first foray into nonfiction is well written and well researched and has a narrative feel to it. The human element is added by having letters and diary entries from people who fought in the battle. You realize how close the battle came to being lost.


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ApollosRaven
Jul 24, 2017

I am a fan of Cornwell's historical/adventure novels. According to the blurb, this is his first non-fiction title. And that topic, as the subtitle suggests, is enormous. Cornwell manages to keep the narrative moving reasonable briskly - testimony to his superlative powers as a storyteller. The reader seeking the true story need not worry that Cornwell fails to take the role of historian seriously - he does. Excellent maps and illustrations helped me follow this complex, fascinating tale.

k
kgkunzman
Oct 28, 2016

The contrast in reviews is interesting to me since I think they represent two types of people drawn to historical nonfiction. I belong to the first group....don't like battle details (boring) but do like the politics, repercussions, personality profiles of important figures and their major interactions.

b
bkevin
Oct 28, 2016

I just don't care for shot by shot depictions of battles. I am far more interested in the politics - that leading up to the battle, and the political implications of the result, and speculation on what may have happened had things gone otherwise. Long detailed narratives of who did what to whom on which ridge put me to sleep.

megan_b Mar 24, 2016

Cornwell's first foray into nonfiction is well written and well researched and has a narrative feel to it. The human element is added by having letters and diary entries from people who fought in the battle. You realize how close the battle came to being lost.

p
peter_leitch
Mar 06, 2016

If you can, get hold of the DVDs that were made of this series starring Sean Bean. If you enjoyed the books, you will love the movies!

z
zipread
Jun 15, 2010

If you've read any other of Cornwell's books, you will have come to expect excitement; lots of action, gore and guts; and stories that authentically fit the time frame in which they are set. Cornwell has written a slew of books that star the character Sharpe. This is the first one I've read in this series --- I'm quick to get in line for others in the series.
Cornwell's specialty is histric fiction --- this time Napoleon's last battle. He has returned from his exile on Elba and is making his last attempt to retake Europe. The name of the battle has become virtually synonimous wikth defeat: Waterloo. The losses on both sides were immense --- once again the flower of a generation spilled its blood on the battlefield. Read this epic and you'll realize what a near thing the whole affair was. Wellington and his forces could easily have failed to take the day.
Enjoy the book --- read it all up --- and then head on out to your library for more!

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