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The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour: A Novel of Waterloo

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  24 reviews
On the bloody fields of Waterloo, a battle-weary canteen mistress of Bonaparte’s Imperial
Guard battalions must fight to free her daughter from all the perils that war will hurl against them – before this last campaign can kill them both.
“Superb! David Ebsworth has really brought these dramatic events to life. His description of the fighting is particularly vivid and compel
Paperback, 348 pages
Published December 1st 2014 by SilverWood Books
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Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Ebsworth dispatches the reader to the bowels of The Battle of Waterloo complete with bloodshed, carnage and harsh conditions. His accomplished and vivid writing depicts battle scenes with such a powerful force you’ll visualize the mayhem and madness ensuing before your very eyes as well as the remnants left behind – squinting your eyes closed as blood spills from the pages. The drama takes on a life of its own, far from theatrical, you’re as near to combat a civilian can be from the safety of th ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I have had for years a soft spot for Napoleon Bonaparte. Also, I find the French revolution is a very interesting subject. But I’m not that interested in war or any kind of field battle. So reading this book for me was sometimes a bit hard since the story takes place during the last days of the Napoleonic Wars. Thankfully, the story in itself, that we are following two women during the war is something that makes reading about battle much easier.

Marianne Tambour is a canteen mistress for a batt
This book was a very pleasant surprise. I was not expecting all the treats that I got so enjoyed the book all the more for them.

For one thing, this author succeeds where others have faltered or failed completely: the perfect balance between epic battle atmosphere and superb, intimate characterization. As the story barrels down towards the epic Battle of Waterloo (as it’s known to the British), the reader is caught up in this epic squaring of forces, occasional skirmishes, and drumming to war. Y
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Bernard Cornwell and the Sharpe series. But I recently read Sharpe's Waterloo and was a bit disappointed. Then I came across this new take on the story and fell in love with it! Apart from anything else, it was really refreshing to get a picture of the battle from a French viewpoint. More important, this one tells the battle's tale from the angle of some fabulous characters, including two very feisty women. If you don't read anything else in 2015 - the bicentenary of Waterloo, a ...more
Andrea Stoeckel
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
ebook, ARC, historical fiction 5 stars

[ I received this book free from the author, whom I have read for before . I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the US Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising]

"En avant" Here we go (325) "It's all those you can't save that shape you"(326)

Two small lines that sum up the whole, which is defin
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
On the 200th anniversary (2015) of the Battle of Waterloo, David Ebsworth brings a compelling look at the war, the time and two women who are embroiled in the events. I was not expecting the depth of character displayed in Marianne and Liberte, nor the compelling perspective that juxtaposes against some of the truly epic battle scenes.

Ebsworth brings a sense of humanity and softness to the very omnipresent threats posed by the ongoing battles, and Marianne, Liberte and their families are neatly
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fbt
I can't express how much I loved this amazing book, told by an equally amazing author about amazing women! Edsworth took stories of real-life women and included them in this amazing book. I personally don't know much about European history but I enjoyed reading about the horrible struggles at Waterloo. Marianne was an amazing heroine she is worthy of admiration. Liberté was a worthy adversary and the story was filled with tension and triumph.

The writing is engaging and I could not put the story
Kathryn Gauci
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review ***** “The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour”
by David Ebsworth

I was drawn to “The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour” for two reasons. The first being that I have long held a fascination for The Battle of Waterloo but could not bring myself to read a book which purely took me through the manoeuvres and formidable statistics of the various regiments- of which there are many – in battle, and the second and perhaps the most important reason being that I am captivated by stories of women in
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cleverly combining factual history with fiction, the story of Marianne Tambour brings alive the story of the Battle of Waterloo as seen through the eyes of the book’s two main protagonists. The story is told from the French perspective, and Marianne Tambour, a cantinière is a grenadier in the regiment of the Imperial Guard, and Liberté Dumont, who is a female dragoon and also a paid informer for the police minister Joseph Fouché. Both of the women are feisty protagonists, however, Marianne seeme ...more
J.B (Debbie)
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am not usually a fan of historical fiction but I must say, after reading this book, I have really changed my mind! David Ebsworth has created such brave women, particularly the fiery character in Marianne Tambour that I could not help but feel that I was there, on the battlefield with her. She was definitely as brave and fearsome as any man, fighting for her life and the lives of those dear to her. Indeed, the women in this book are anything but weak. Throughout the telling of this story, the ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
It didn't take me long to realize that the author has a real passion for this period in history. Inspired by real historical figures he has created Marianne Trebour and Liberte Dumont. I won't go into detail about what this book is about, the synopis above does a very good job of that.

The Battle of Waterloo is a part of history I know very little about and this book brought it to life peaking my interest to learn more. Women on the battlefield is something that is new to me and it worked here, e
Joanna Lambert
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a complete departure from my normal reads and proved an interesting journey. We are drawn into the world of a fictional French battalion with canteen mistress Marianne, her partner Fronsac and daughter Florisette (Poppy). Marianne’s main need is to protect Poppy, the only surviving child of three, and somehow accumulate enough money to provide her with a new life away from the war. Then she meets Liberte or Hawk Face as she is known and saves her life whilst at the same time getting rid ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book having recently read another fictional book about the The Battle of Waterloo. This book follows the exploits of a fictional French battalion with canteen mistress Marianne, her man Fronsac and surviving daughter Florisette (Poppy). All Marianne wants is to protect Poppy and somehow get enough money to provide her with a new life away from the war. She meets Hawk Face (Liberte) and saves her life whilst disposing of a personal adversary who had been trying to kill her! The two wo ...more
Kate Riley
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A vivid, rich, gripping, well written novel. Author David Ebsworth has provided a great story with ordinary yet heroic women as main characters as well as giving an authentic and informative account of the harsh life of the French military in 1815.
The detail and historical accuracy of the campaign and life in Napoleon’s army makes the story come to life, I could almost smell the horse sweat, feel the mud and hear the drums! I learned a lot about the Napoleonic wars and this campaign as Ebsworth
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Epic Literature fans
I'm doing a second read through on this novel before I leave a more detailed and final review.

I simply am unable to successfully put into words my thoughts yet.

I will tell you this - It made me think, it made me feel, it stunned me...
It accomplishes all of those things that make a great story, contains all of the elements that satisfy readers.

This is a BIG book and I'm not referring to only its size.
I mean BIG. EPIC.
A novel with such a broad scope, it will please fans of any genre.

This is
VERDICT: Choosing the unique and often forgotten perspective of women who fought alongside Napoleon, David Ebsworth offers a brilliant fresco of the emperor’s last battle in 1815. Remarkably researched, The Last Campaign of Marianne Tambour makes you experience Waterloo on the front-line. A must for all interested in Napoleonic wars and French history in general.

read my full review:
Cheryl Dietr
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it

If you love strong and daring female characters in an authentic historical setting you could not have come to a better place.It took me several chapters to get into the book but once I did I was hooked. Ebsworth knows how to create a great battle scene with all the glory and gore that Marianne witnesses and participates in. War isn't for sissies and Marianne is anything but.If you want to read a good book about Waterloo and the women who fought alongside the men; this is a good one!

* I received
Anne Martin
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the story of Marianne and Liberte. I know the description of the battle of Waterloo is founded by extensive research, and am sure it is technically perfect, but I could have done with less. Still, the two women were interesting, with different expectations and different lives. To be picky, I don't think the name Liberte could have existed, except just in the aftermath of the French revolution. And I don't think Poppy could be a name nor a nickname then. Just sounds too British, at a ti ...more
May 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Almost overpowering detail of the Waterloo campaign of Napoleon with a little storyline thrown in---tons of researched material.
Jonathan Fryer
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am not usually a fan of historical fiction and in truth had several false starts in reading David Ebsworth's Waterloo novel before surrendering to its powerful narrative and boisterous language. It brilliantly captures the spirit of events and people as the decisive battle looms that will bring about Napoleon Bonaparte's eventual downfall. Though Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington and other senior historical figures do appear in the book, the main focus is on two remarkable women: the canteen mi ...more
Eileen Iciek
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
David Ebsworth's novel of the Battle of Waterloo tells the story of a canteen-mistress, Marianne Tambour, assigned to one of Napoleon's battalions in the four to five days leading up to this great battle. The author's vivid descriptions of the events sound as though he lived through them himself - the muddy fields, the fatigue of the soldiers, the hopes of the Frenchmen supporting Napoleon, the crushing reality of his defeat. Marianne herself is trying to make a better life for herself and her d ...more
Jude Lennon
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommend
I love historical fiction and this was a fascinating look at the Battle of Waterloo from A - the point of view of the French and B the point of view of the women who were also on the battlefields. Really well researched and totally gripping. This is a great book.
Diana Ridout
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A truly remarkable feat of skilled story telling merging with accurate historical detail. A panorama of a book, broad in scope and filled with unforgettable scenes and characters. The people were realistically portrayed with all their faults in the manner of Emile Zola making them totally come alive. The battle scenes were convincingly and wonderfully portrayed. I recommend every aspect of this book.
Cathy French
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Any moans, groans, beefs or bones? Just one really...I would've liked for the story about the apparent sisterhood of Marianne and Liberte' and their "visions" to have been explored more and begin even sooner in the story. I do realize, however, the necessity to not stray too far from the dedicated and well described research and known history the author used to spin this story. I was unaware of this inside look at the women so close to the front lines and how they endured so diligently.
Chris Remington
rated it it was amazing
Sep 05, 2017
Jacki Bowker
rated it did not like it
Aug 01, 2020
Andrew White
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Feb 08, 2015
Subham Bhowmick
rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2015
Robert Paterson
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Jun 11, 2017
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David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer, Dave McCall, a former negotiator and Regional Secretary for Britain's Transport & General Workers’ Union. He was born in Liverpool (UK) but has lived since 1980 in Wrexham, North Wales, with his wife, Ann. Following their retirement in 2008, the couple have spent about six months of each year in southern Spain. Dave began to write seriously in the followin ...more

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