Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Book Notes: Cornwell on Waterloo

Bernard Cornwell, the impossibly prolific author of the Sharpe series of historical novels (since televised, and now famous as one role in which Sean Bean did not have to die) has published his first non-fiction, Waterloo, The Story of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles, in anticipation of next summer's 200th anniversary of that battle.

I could manufacture some Canadian connections here -- a slew of later Canadian governors fought at Waterloo, and the end of the War of 1812 was influenced by the fall of Napoleon, which preceded his return and his Waterloo.  And it turns out Cornwell is a Canadian "war baby," born 1944, son of a Canadian airman from Victoria and a British servicewoman.  And he's promoting the book in Toronto soon.

But it's mostly that this blog gets quite a few new book PR requests from American presses and publicists --usually for titles like "Aircraft of The Vietnam War" or "The Dining Table of John and Abigail Adams" and other items of, shall we say, local interest -- and pretty much nothing from Canadian publishers ever. So this is for Melissa Nowakowski at HarperCollins in Toronto, who took the trouble to get in touch about this title. See, it can work!

I read it, actually. There is not much new that can be said about Waterloo, except for all of us who don't know much about it. Cornwell, as you might expect, does battle well, and he is good at taking an interest in the difference between brigade and battalion or line and column, things that really help if you are trying to figure out what the hell is going on.  Seems it was indeed, as Wellington said, a damned near run thing.
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