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Voices from the Past: Waterloo 1815 (Hardback)

History's most famous battle told through eyewitness accounts, newspaper reports, parliamentary debates, memoirs and diaries

Military > Frontline Books Military > Pre-WWI > Napoleonic > Battle of Waterloo P&S History > By Century > 19th Century

By John Grehan
Frontline Books
Series: Voices from the Past
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 16 pages of b/w plates
ISBN: 9781783831999
Published: 5th May 2015



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For more than twenty years Europe had been torn apart by war. Dynasties had crumbled, new states had been created and a generation had lost its young men. When it seemed that peace might at last settle across Europe, terrible news was received Napoleon had escaped from exile and was marching upon Paris. Europe braced itself once again for war. The allied nations agreed to combine against Napoleon and in May 1815 they began to mass on Frances frontiers. The scene was set for the greatest battle the world had yet seen.

Composed of more than 300 eyewitness accounts, official documents, parliamentary debates and newspaper reports, Voices From the Past tells the story of Napoleons last battles as they were experienced and reported by the men and women involved.

Heroic cavalry charges, devastating artillery bombardments, terrible injuries, heart-breaking encounters, and amusing anecdotes, written by aristocratic officers and humble privates alike, fill the pages of this ambitious publication. Many of these reports have not been reproduced for almost 200 years.

This new title tells the story of Napoleon’s last battles as they were experienced and reported by the people involved. The text is composed from more than 300 eye witness accounts, official documents, parliamentary debates and newspaper reports, all fully annotated – many of which have not been reproduced for almost 200 years - featuring numerous aspects such as cavalry charges, artillery bombardments, terrible injuries, heartbreaks and humorous anecdotes, written by aristocratic officers and humble ‘rankers’ alike.

Possibly not for the too faint hearted, amongst many other things, the reader can learn of the teeth taken from the dead lying on the battlefield, find out which books Napoleon took on campaign, the artilleryman who tripped as his cannon was discharged, blowing off his arms and legs and yet living out the day, or the soldier whose head was taken off by a cannon ball, as described by the man stood talking to him at the time, and of the children born as their fathers fought and died at Waterloo who were named after the battle.

There are a number of monochrome illustrations supporting the text, all of which are probably familiar to readers, but are none the worse for that. A bibliography and source information section, plus an index round off this rather ‘different’ and intriguing book, which forms an interesting addition to the Napoleonic bookshelf.

Stuart Asquith, Author

As seen on.

International Napoleonic Society

Instead of the usual overview of what was coming in the book, that most introductions provide, Mr. Grehan's approach was unique...Within a few pages I was hooked. Voices from the Past delivered what is promised. It tells the history of the Waterloo Campaign as seen through the eyes of those who fought in it or experienced the aftermath. Because so many of the sources were new to me it provided a fresh perspective on the battle... There is enough new material in it to hold the interest of those familiar with the battle, but because it tells the story from point of view of those who lived through the battle, it will bring the struggle to life for the casual reader.

The Napoleon Series

Voices from the Past tells the story of Napoleon's last battles as they were experienced and reported by the men and women involved.

Antiques Diary

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written, edited or contributed to more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the recent conflict in Afghanistan. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was employed as the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

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