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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author comes the definitive history of one of the greatest battles ever fought - a riveting nonfiction chronicle published to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of Napoleon's last stand.
On June 18, 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 Prussians at Ligny and fought the British to a standstill at Quatre-Bras. The Allies were in retreat. The little village north of where they turned to fight the French army was called Waterloo. The blood-soaked battle to which the town gave its name would become a landmark in European history.
In his first work of nonfiction, Bernard Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting chronicle of every dramatic moment from Napoleon's daring escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the three battlefields and their aftermath. Through quotes from the letters and diaries of Emperor Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, and the ordinary officers and soldiers, Cornwell brings to life how it actually felt to fight those famous battles as well as the moments of amazing bravery on both sides that left the outcome hanging in the balance until the bitter end.
Published to coincide with the battle's bicentennial in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy - and of the final battle that determined the fate of nineteenth-century Europe.
©2015 Bernard Cornwell (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By carl801 on 05-13-15

Not a close run thing!

Bernard Cornwell asks in the first few lines, "Why another book about Waterloo?" It's a good question and it has a very easy answer: If Cornwell wrote it, that's reason enough for me. In his hands, the story comes alive again in a way historians only rarely achieve.

Clearly, Cornwell has been researching the Napoleonic era all of his life. From the lowest private to the commanding generals, the story is told from the viewpoint and in the words of the participants. The battle descriptions are classic Cornwell, but it is the descriptions of the strategies of the battle captains, Wellington and Napoleon, that was most interesting to me.

I have only one criticism: Cornwell should have narrated the entire book himself. Not that the narrator did not do a great job, he did. But Cornwell's own voice is clearly that of a passionate author and actor. Usually I prefer that authors not read their own work, but in this case I have to say we would have been better served if he had.

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30 of 30 people found this review helpful

By Milton Soong on 06-23-15

Rocking story even if it offers no new information

Solid retailing of the Waterloo campaign from a mainly British pov. The author knows how to turn a phrase (and he is the narrator). Recommended if you want a highlight reel of the battle.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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