Saturday, June 18, 2011

196 years ago today

The Battle of Waterloo was 196 years ago today. As a Regency romance author who prefers to write about soldiers and also something of a military history geek, I think I'm contractually obligated to post something about the battle.

Four years from now, I plan to actually be there on the field for the 200th anniversary. I've got a decent-sized chunk of money set aside in a CD where I won't be tempted to touch it before it's time to book plane tickets, and I'm hoping to take 3-4 weeks off work and make a leisurely trip of it.

My new WIP is partially set at Waterloo, so I've been re-reading some of my sources. Today I was reminded by John Keegan in The Mask of Command that from the time Wellington woke up on June 15 (the day the French army crossed into Belgium) and when he fell asleep on the floor in his headquarters after Waterloo (having given his bed up to a dying officer), he got about 9 hours of sleep. Total. In three nights. Knowing that, I'm even more amazed and impressed with how well he and his army performed. On that little sleep, I'd have trouble framing a coherent sentence, and I'd probably botch the whole battle doing whatever is the military equivalent of getting a bowl of cereal, but putting the cereal box away in the fridge and the milk carton on the pantry shelf.


  1. I think Wellington must have been a man with amazing strength of character - I know my husband admires him greatly.

    Incidentally, the husband was at a Waterloo dinner the other night, complete with re-enactment using kit and weapons actually carried at the battle.

    Just as an aside - I loved your book "The Sergeant's Lady" and found it a very interesting and entertaining read. There was only one thing that jarred with me and it's so tiny that I'm certain most people missed it - the spelling of Sargeant. Is it not the case that the Light Division used the spelling Sarjeant? (Or am I barking up the wrong tree here?)

  2. If that's the spelling that was used, I haven't seen it in my sources--however, it's entirely possible they modernized the spelling, as I've observed is common even when reprinting primary sources. (And my publisher probably would've wanted me to use the more common/familiar spelling in any case!)