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"Publishers and Waterloo sensationalism" Topic


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935 hits since 21 Nov 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 5:49 a.m. PST

It has struck me just how awfully entitled (or subtitled) are so many of the books that have been published for the 200th anniversary of Waterloo. Many are far better than the cover suggests and I am bound to think it is the publishers and not the authors who feel sensationalism is needed to attract readers.

Some examples of cover print that we have seen include;

The Secret Treachery that Defeated Napoleon (actually a very well researched book)
The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo (even more so the above applies)
The End of a 200 Year Old Controversy
The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo (LHS garrison)
The Cavalry that Broke Napoleon (Oh, it was the KDG not LHS then )
The Truth at Last. Why Napoleon Lost the Great Battle
The Last Great Waterloo Mystery Unravelled

You get the picture. Any more to add?

Chokidar21 Nov 2017 6:11 a.m. PST

Napoleon – the Final Victory (from previously unpublished French sources…)

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 6:58 a.m. PST

Waterloo: Slaying Satan

Big Red Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 8:07 a.m. PST

It must be an uphill battle to get the general public to buy ANYTHING of an historical nature.

Even with the unrelenting efforts of the Schicklgruber Chanel, way too many today can't even identify when WW2 was fought and who were the major participants let alone a battle from over 200 years ago between countries that were deadly enemy and who are now allies (of a sort).

Much of the time it is the publisher who tacks of the "Super Market Newspaper" subtitles and the author has no say in the matter. At least they haven't sunk to the bodice ripper covers and titles such as: "Napoleon, a conquest too many".

But really, who can blame them for trying to hawk a few volumes that are hard to peddle in any commercial amounts.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 8:43 a.m. PST

I have to say…I can see your point. By definition, we are the enthusiasts…the trick is to catch the majority.

It is just when I think of the book released a few years ago by a very aged Swordfish pilot, "I sank the Bismarck". It led to much dispute although it does seem he was involved in the attack. Most would say PoW and then KGV, Rodney, Vian's destroyers and Dorsetshire (maybe even its own crew) had something to do with it. The title proved terribly embarrassing for the old boy and it was not his idea.

wrgmr121 Nov 2017 9:25 a.m. PST

Publishers want to sell books, writers just want to be published.

4th Cuirassier21 Nov 2017 10:17 a.m. PST

At least they haven't sunk to the bodice ripper covers and titles such as: "Napoleon, a conquest too many".

Give it time. Andrew Roberts' bio of Napoleon informs us that in bed, Josephine did something called "zig-zags". Nobody knows exactly what these were, but one can have fun guessing until someone comes along with a title such as "Napoleon, a conquest too many" and lays it all before us.

HP2Sport21 Nov 2017 10:29 a.m. PST

So many books about Waterloo – although for me it is the least interesting battle and campaign of the era. Shame more research doesn't go into some of the earlier campaigns.

d88mm1940 Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 1:26 p.m. PST

I believe that you have to have a sub-title to distinguish the different Waterloo books. Otherwise, you would have hundreds of books titled "Waterloo", with no way to know which was which.
They could maybe have a numbering system: Waterloo 37, Waterloo 38, Waterloo 39, etc. That may take away from the glamor, though…

Lambert Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 2:34 p.m. PST

I think the point of 'The Cavalry that Broke Napoleon' is to make the case that (if any cavalry could claim to have 'broke Napoleon') it was the KDG rather than the Scots Greys. If your only knowledge of the battle comes from the film, you would think all British cavalry rode grey horses.

Dynaman878921 Nov 2017 2:36 p.m. PST

Any book on ANY topic lately seems to have "The Untold Story", "The Truth Revealed" or some such drivel appended. I suppose "I want your cash" wouldn't sell.

huevans01121 Nov 2017 2:58 p.m. PST

At least they haven't sunk to the bodice ripper covers and titles such as: "Napoleon, a conquest too many".

Give it time. Andrew Roberts' bio of Napoleon informs us that in bed, Josephine did something called "zig-zags". Nobody knows exactly what these were, but one can have fun guessing until someone comes along with a title such as "Napoleon, a conquest too many" and lays it all before us.

Perhaps it could be called "Once more into the breeches, dear friends!!"

Mike the Analyst21 Nov 2017 3:45 p.m. PST

Was it not Wellington himself that said you would have a better chance to write up the details of the ball in Brussels as to write an accurate account of the battle.

Anyway "Publish and be Damned" I say.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP21 Nov 2017 8:28 p.m. PST

Trying to sell books.

evilgong21 Nov 2017 10:49 p.m. PST

Secret Nazi Technology Of Napoleon's War Machine, $11.99 USD. Out Soon.

Edwulf21 Nov 2017 10:53 p.m. PST

Waterloo is not alone in this ….

Every book must sell its " fresh new perspectives" previously "unknown secrets" or "untold stories". Sometimes genuine. Sometimes spin. Sometimes false.

Chokidar22 Nov 2017 3:56 a.m. PST

..the best ever book title.. intentional …"Adolf Hitler – My Part in his Downfall" – and the ongoing series!

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2017 8:21 p.m. PST

Rigging on what I wrote above, Bill O'Reilly, "Killing Napoleon".

KniazSuvorov23 Nov 2017 8:08 a.m. PST

Frankly, I think the ABBA song is sufficiently well-researched for the general public. All those other so-called history books only exist to keep Napoleonic scholars employed.

42flanker23 Nov 2017 9:33 a.m. PST

"Nobody in the world- has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people."

Or by 'zig-zagging'

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