Book Review: Waterloo Witnesses: Military and Civilian Accounts of the 1815 Campaign

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by Kristine Hughes

Barnsley, Eng.,: Pen & Sword / Philadelphia: Casemate, 2021. Pp. x 292+. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $34.95. ISBN: 1399003623

Remembering the Hundred Days

A specialist in Regency and Victorian Britain, historian Hughes has collected scores of first-hand accounts by people – soldiers, merchants, duchesses, generals, diplomats, and others, all mostly rather ordinary folk, albeit largely British or Allied – who lived through the “100 Days”.

These excerpts frequently offer unique insights not only into how the particular man or woman experienced the events in which they found themselves caught up, but also frequently presents interesting and unique perspectives on the ways in which the campaign and battle unfolded. Hughes manages to link these accounts together with a running commentary on the events, and adds often extensive notes about the witnesses which not only help identify them, but also add interesting details about their later lives.

The main drawback of the book is that, given the notes identifying various people offer considerable detail about them and their lives, they would have been better placed at the foot of the page, rather than forcing the reader to flip to the back the book. In addition, a couple of simple outline maps would have helped improve the reader’s understanding of where these people were when the events they describe took place.

Waterloo Witnesses is a valuable read for anyone with an interest in the Campaign of 1815 and the Battle of Waterloo.

 

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Note: Waterloo Witnesses is also available in several e-editions.

 

StrategyPage reviews are published in cooperation with The New York Military Affairs Symposium (www.nymas.org)

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi, Review Editor   


Buy it at Amazon.com




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