Waterloo In 100 Objects
Explore the legacy of one of the greatest battles in military history - the Battle of Waterloo - through this finely crafted collection of objects, each telling their own story of the day. Bullet-pierced armour and dramatic battledress bring you closer to the heart of the action, and the tragedy of the death toll is made ever more poignant by the personal mementoes left behind. From the grim reality of the teeth of the dead turned into dentures to the romance of Napoleon's steeds, swash-buckling swords and ballgowns, each object offers new insight into the incredible events that unfolded on 18 June 1815.
This is a fascinating journey through 100 objects, from the rare to the memorable, in a unique testimony to the importance of the Battle of Waterloo, 200 years on.
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In contrast to the numerous (over 5000 apparently) Waterloo books that have been published in the last ten years, this one tells the story in the new format of the '100 objects' and does it very well. The objects range widely and one turns the page from musket to ball gown, statue to camp kettle, farm building to cavalry sword. It may miss out most of the battle detail which you get in the books covering the day-to-day or hour-to-hour story, but you still get a feel for the piecemeal nature of a big campaign in which even the top management often did not know where their own troops were, let alone those of the enemy.
This is a luxury book on heavy paper with a full page for each 'object' and more beautifully printed photographs in between so that few pages lack a full-colour illustration. Though it might present the appearance of a coffee-table book the text does not short-change the reader on detail. For instance, who would have thought that it would have taken 3.5 million musket balls to cause 20,000 casualties?
The only criticism I have of this book is that there is no contents list and the index is not adequate enough; I could find neither Iron Cross (or Cross, Iron) nor Légion d'Honneur. But I quibble; this is a superb book well worth the money and would make a super gift.
Friends of The National Archives