Dancing into Battle: A Social History of the Battle of Waterloo
by Nick Foulkes
Examining a battle that has become one of the most famous in history, this definitive volume chronicles Napoleon's defeat by British, Dutch, Belgian, and German forces on June 18, 1815,in Waterloo, Belgium. Battles were then localized affairs: Waterloo was fought on a piece of land approximately the size of Central Park.For a good many of the men who fought there, in fact,...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 28th 2008 by Phoenix
(first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 61)
Brilliant. Exactly what I like in a history - gossipy, fact-filled, full of first-hand testimony and anecdotes. It's not often that I say of a history book that I couldn't put it down - and I read a LOT of history - but I could definitely say it of this book. Waterloo from the parks and dance floors of Brussels, from the letters home of the men who fought there and their servants and wives and lovers, from diaries of avid and slightly creepy spectators, and from the memoirs of the many for whom...more
On the eve of the battle of Quatre Bras the Duchess of Richmond held a glittering ball at which all the great and good indulged themselves to their own personal excesses before going off to battle the next morning. With such, possibly stupid, sangfroid is English history riven. After Ney had failed in his bloody attempt to take the crucial crossroads, Napoleon was forced to meet Wellington at Waterloo, the "close run thing" that resulted in Napoleon's ultimate defeat and exile to St Helena where...more
A good, readable account of the human and social experience in Brussels in the days before, during, and immediately after the battle, worth reading in particular for nonspecialists who get bogged down in the obsessive quality of so much military history writing (troop dispositions and command structures and diagrams of battlefields). I wish the copyediting had been a bit more precise; a review of comma usage, for example, would not have tone amiss.
Different perspective of the period of Napeleon's rule, the clash between France and England, in that it depicts the social history between the aristocracy of the two countries. Better to read this as a complement to other historical books about the Battle of Waterloo. I found it hard to keep up with all the people's names and the heirarcy.
A unique examination of the Battle of Waterloo, primarily from the rear, ie., letters, journal entries, etc. of British aristocrats and soldiers in Brussels during the summer of 1815. One of the most enjoyable and thought provoking books on a subject I thought had been written into the ground.