The bicentennial of one of the greatest battles in history is almost upon us — and Bernard Cornwell provides a new account of it in Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles.Bookmonger Waterloo Ricochet

In a 10-minute conversation with The Bookmonger, Cornwell describes what was at stake on June 18, 1815, whether Napoleon or Wellington was the better general, and what it was like to be an ordinary soldier on the battlefield (short answer: awful). He also discusses why he paused his novel writing for this book, his first — an apparently last — work of nonfiction.

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  1. danys Thatcher
    danys
    @danys

    I know someone who will love this book. Ordering it now. Thank you!

    • #1
  2. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Thanks for this, am ordering it for Mr She’s birthday, which is coming up.

    For those who also like fictional accounts of historical events, Bernard Cornwell’s novel, Waterloo (one of the Sharpe series) is excellent, as is Georgette Heyer’s An Infamous Army.  This is a novel of such historical exactitude that  it was on the ‘suggested reading list’ at Sandhurst for decades.  May still be, for all I know.

    Not bad for a woman who made her living as the “Queen of the Regency Romance.”

    I see a great many celebrations of the anniversary, but none of them seem to have to do with the British government.

    Is there an official celebration in Britain this summer?  Or is it something we don’t talk about?

    • #2
  3. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Stephen King defined “rich” as follows:

    “I want to be able to buy any book I want to read in hardcover”.

    This book is a reason I want to be rich.

    • #3
  4. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    She:Thanks for this, am ordering it for Mr She’s birthday, which is coming up.

    I see a great many celebrations of the anniversary, but none of them seem to have to do with the British government.

    Is there an official celebration in Britain this summer? Or is it something we don’t talk about?

    Well, we’re having a meet-up in Kansas City with hopefully three ex-Englishmen; that’s got to count for something!

    http://ricochet.com/kansas-city-meetup-schedule/

    • #4
  5. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Amy Schley:

    She:Thanks for this, am ordering it for Mr She’s birthday, which is coming up.

    I see a great many celebrations of the anniversary, but none of them seem to have to do with the British government.

    Is there an official celebration in Britain this summer? Or is it something we don’t talk about?

    Well, we’re having a meet-up in Kansas City with hopefully three ex-Englishmen; that’s got to count for something!

    http://ricochet.com/kansas-city-meetup-schedule/

    And, indeed, it does!  (Although I’d like to go on record by saying that, as there are no ex-US Marines, there are no “ex-Englishmen.”  “Former-Englishmen” is the least I’ll accept (who are you, anyway?), otherwise, meet-me-with-pistols-at-dawn somewhere-or-other to sort it out . . .)

    What I’m worried about, though, is this.  As with a great many things, the idea that the Brits (particularly the English) might have come down on the right side of history is so abhorrent that it just doesn’t compute.

    Has anything changed since this article was written in 2011?

    • #5
  6. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Two of the gentlemen in question have become American citizens; the third is in the process thereof.

    • #6
  7. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild
    @JimGoneWild

    John, is this a Sharps series book?

    • #7
  8. Vectorman Inactive
    Vectorman
    @Vectorman

    JimGoneWild:John, is this a Sharps series book?

    In the podcast, Bernard explains that this is his only “pure history” book, so no.  But he said that the battle of Waterloo was much more complex than Napoleon  vs. Wellington, and Bernard wanted to include his research on what the battle was like.

    • #8
  9. user_245883 Member
    user_245883
    @DanCampbell

    I will definitely be getting this book!  Nobody describes battle like Cornwell.  He puts you in it so you can feel the heat and fear, smell the sweat and stench.  He has a number of series books taking place in time periods from 800s Britain, to the 100 Years War, to more “modern” times.  I read everything he writes.

    I have a couple friends who are going to Belgium to participate in the battle reenactment on the British side.  I don’t think it is sponsored by a government.

    • #9
  10. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @netrc

    “US expansion westward was done under the protection of the Royal Navy”. As “many” historians say.

    Typical English blowback.  Of course, in 1812, the US Navy had already out-gunned British ships.

    But anyway, thanks for your help old chap.

    • #10