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After midnight, 19 June 1815...On the battlefield more than 50,000 men and 7,000 horses lie dead and wounded; the wreckage of a once proud French Grande Armee struggles in abject disorder to the Belgian frontier pursued by murderous Prussian lancers; and Napoleon Bonaparte, exhausted and stunned at the scale of his defeat, rode through the darkness towards Paris, abdication and captivity. In the days, weeks and months that followed, news of the battle shaped the consciousness of an age. Drawing on a multiplicity of contemporary voices and viewpoints, Paul O'Keeffe brings into focus as never before the sights, sounds and smells of the battlefield, of conquest and defeat, of celebration and riot.
This account of Waterloo begins where many end, on the evening of 18 June 1815. Meticulously researched, it brings home the horrors of the battlefield where 200,000 men with 60,000 horses fought all day over an area of barely five square miles. There was a war still to be won. Napoleon did not surrender, but returned to Paris, pursued by the victorious British and Prussian armies, hell-bent on plunder. He then fled to the coast, hoping to sail to the USA, but the British had other plans for him. Tying up loose ends, O’Keefe tells a story that needed to be told.
'Hugely readable, held together by imaginative structuring... Storytelling in the great narrative tradition' -- John Pemble Guardian
'It is all here - and all told with the same verve, eye for anecdote and command of the material. This is a very good book, and a model of how narrative history should be written... anybody remotely interested in the battle should read' The Spectator
Publication date: 30/04/2015
Publication date: 09/10/2014
Publisher: The Bodley Head Ltd an imprint of Vintage
|Publication date:||30th April 2015|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites, History,|
|Categories:||Napoleonic Wars, War & defence operations, European history, Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900,|
Paul O'Keeffe's acclaimed books include biograhies of Wyndham Lewis (Some Sort of Genius, 2000) and Benjamin Robert Haydon (A Genius for Failure, 2009). He lives in Liverpool.More About Paul O'Keeffe