I was recently given a copy of a novel about Waterloo. I don’t normally read novels but this of course was different. A novel about Wellington and Napoleon on that great day perhaps? But No! It was a fairly straightforward interpretation of Napoleon’s and the Iron Duke’s campaigns from Spain to Waterloo.
I am pretty sure the framework of the story is accurate. However as novels do, the dialogue is mostly invented but comes across very well. There is only one startling departure from the truth and that comes late in the book when Waterloo had been won and lost. Wellington is summoned to see Napoleon a day or so after the battle and in the conversation reported Napoleon pleads for a solution to his dilemma. Should he not stay in France as the ruler but under different terms? To Wellington this was anathema and he returns to Brussels with nothing resolved and the rest of course is real history, as we know that no such meeting ever took place. However it is an interesting spin and had me sitting up as I read it! Yes, it is worth reading as it is an easy reminder of the campaigns leading up to Waterloo. Not great history but it’s fun but then it is a novel after all.