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Dancing into Battle

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  39 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The social backdrop, vividly described, to one of the greatest battles in European history, Waterloo 1815

The summer of 1815 saw the final and desperate efforts of European powers to usurp Napoleon's reign over France.

The pivotal moment was unfolding in an age where war was a social occasion; the military urgency was matched only by the soldiers and their wives' frantic ef
Paperback, 267 pages
Published September 5th 2007 by Phoenix (first published 2006)
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Apr 06, 2015 KOMET rated it it was amazing
I finished reading this book a few hours ago and had been hesitant as to whether to give it 4 or 5 stars. I finally settled on 5 stars because of the way "Dancing into Battle" recaptured the spirit of the times in Europe between Napoleon's abdication in the spring of 1814 and his re-emergence on the world stage in Paris in March 1815 following his escape from the island of Elba.

The book gives the reader a broad access to the widespread exodus of British aristocrats and other people of means to
Marguerite Kaye
Jun 02, 2014 Marguerite Kaye rated it it was amazing
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
Nicky Penttila
Jun 12, 2015 Nicky Penttila rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
Very fun read, and good start on the history. Recommended for writers who need story ideas ;-)
Good use of first-hand quotes (letters especially) and good notes and bibliography. A little bit of repetition between chapters, as if the author thought people would dip in and out more than read straight through.
Huw Evans
Jun 22, 2014 Huw Evans rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
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
Sarah MacLean
May 17, 2008 Sarah MacLean rated it really liked it
this is exactly the book you read when you're writing a book about waterloo. and dancing.
Sarah Bierle
Jun 11, 2015 Sarah Bierle rated it liked it
Shelves: history
A well-written book exposing the scandalously loose morals, spendthrift nobility, and battlefield courage of the English before and during the Waterloo Campaign. I liked how the book did not focus solely on the nobility, but also showed some of the experiences of the "common soldiers" and their families. Leaves the reader with a new perspective on Regency society, British military of the early 19th century, and the Battle of Waterloo.
Jun 02, 2014 Leslie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, war, 2014
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.
Sigrid Ellis
Aug 24, 2015 Sigrid Ellis rated it really liked it
Shelves: history-european
REALLY liked this book, AFTER I read An Infamous Army. I'd tried once before to read this, and bounced off. After finishing Heyer's take on events, this book of history was PERFECT. Loved it.

Jul 03, 2012 Donetta rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 04, 2014 Oliver rated it it was amazing
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.
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