'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.
Returning to the ‘cockpit of Europe’ with a factual account of the final phase of Napoleon’s military career, Cornwell marries the vivid writing of the novelist with the scholarly approach of a serious historian. He looks at more than Waterloo itself, taking in the four days that saw the Prussians defeated by Napoleon at Ligny and the British fight Marshal Ney to a standstill at Quatre Bras, before turning his attention to the clash that Wellington called ‘the nearest-run thing you ever saw in your life’. Full of colour illustrations, this is a beautifully produced book.
Praise for Waterloo: '[...] An account that is both vivid and scholarly. Readers new to the Waterloo campaign could hope for no better introduction, and veterans will find fresh insights.
'Cornwell is excellent on the minutiae of tactics [...] he offers narrative clarity, and a sure grip on personalities and period.'
Max Hastings, The Sunday Times
'An excellent first foray into non-fiction, and proof that good narrative history is no different from fiction - it's all about the story.'
Evening Standard Praise for Bernard Cornwell
's previous titles: 'Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.'
'The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive.'
Publication date: 07/05/2015
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||7th May 2015|
|Publisher:||HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Categories:||Napoleonic Wars, Battles & campaigns, European history, Modern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900,|
Born in Essex in 1944 Bernard Cornwell was adopted at the age of six weeks by two members of a strict fundamentalist sect called the Peculiar People. He grew up in a household that forbade alcohol, cigarettes, dances, television, conventional medicine and toy guns. Not surprisingly, he developed a fascination for military adventure. As a teenager he devoured CS Forester’s Hornblower novels and tried to enlist three times. Poor eyesight put paid to his dream, instead he went to university to read theology. On graduating, he became a teacher, then joined BBC’s Nationwide, working his way up ...More About Bernard Cornwell