I have to confess to having never heard of General Grouchy - at first, I thought it might be a nickname for Wellington, but on closer examination of the book I discovered that Grouchy could have changed the course of the Battle of Waterloo, with dire consequences for Wellington and England's forces. The book examines the life and career of a man who could have helped Napoleon, but for reasons which are covered in the book, chose not to. Paul's biopic of a man previously forgotten by historians fills in the gaps.
Do we need another book about Waterloo? If they are like this we most certainly do. This book is different because of the primary source material researched to create it. The usual story is not trotted out without a fresh critical analysis. Within the book one chapter stands above all others for me and that is chapter 8. The movements of 1st Corps is a tale of mismanagement and confusion and has been a source of conjecture for all who study Quatre Bras. Paul Dawson makes, as clear as possible, the events of the day carefully weighing the evidence for the ultimate actions of the key players. He makes the confusion clear while bewailing the fact that verbal exchanges which could have played an important part on the day are lost to history. This is a book for the Waterloo 'aficionado' written in a way which is easily accessible to the general reader. I highly recommend this book and at the time of writing look forward to, the soon to be published, Paul Dawson's 'Waterloo. The Truth at Last'... Read more
Clash of Steel
I have an abiding admiration for Guernsey-born Admiral James Saumarez and in fact dedicate my upcoming book The Baltic Prize (out in November) to this Royal Navy officer. His first battle was against the American revolutionaries in 1775, thereafter his main opponents were the French and the Spanish, and the first fighting ship he commanded, the eight-gun galley Spitfire, was involved in forty-seven engagements before being run aground. Rising through the ranks, Saumarez fought on land and at sea. He was involved in actions in the English Channel, served in HMS Victory, took part in the Battle of Cape St Vincent, the Blockade of Cadiz, and was with Nelson at the Battle of the Nile. Promoted to Rear Admiral, he led his ships at the battles of Algeciras and the Gut of Gibraltar. Saumarez was then despatched into the Baltic, where he was crucial in keeping open Britain’s last vital trade route by an astute combination of diplomacy and a mailed fist. A fascinating biography of a hero by anyone’s.. Read more
Julian Stockwin action-adventure historical fiction