Help support TMP

"The Long Shadow of Waterloo: Myths, Memories ..." Topic

11 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Napoleonic Media Message Board

Areas of Interest


353 hits since 18 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse18 Jan 2019 3:15 p.m. PST

….and Debates Hardcover

"The Long Shadow of Waterloo explores how Waterloo was remembered by the various nations involved, including the French, British, Germans, the influence it had on these nations (and others, including the USA) and how this changed over the 100 years following the battle. The Battle of Waterloo ended a century of war between France and Great Britain and became a key part of their national identity, serving their political needs as the battle was refought throughout the 19th century in politics, books and art to create the myth of Waterloo. For Great Britain, Waterloo became a symbol of British hegemony while the multinational contribution to the battle was downplayed and for France it was remembered as a military disaster. Through looking at the history of the battle over the battle's significance in history, an insight is gained into how cultural myths and legends about a battle are made. Wellington and Napoleon both tried to shape the memory of the battle to their advantage. Wellington propogated the myth that the British won despite being outnumbered by a huge French army, while Napoleon chose to blame his subordinates for the loss, in particular Emmanuel de Grouchy. Grouchy spent the next 60 years struggling to defend his honour, claiming that Napoleon's account of the battle written during his exile at Saint Helena was imaginary and intended to cover Napoleon's own mistakes during the campaign. This book covers the battle's influence on figures such as Jomini and Clausewitz, military theorists who wanted to find the objective truth of Waterloo and use it as a guide for future wars, as well as Victor Hugo (and Les Miserables) who challenged the myths of battle to transform it into a win for France from which the Republic would emerge. The way Waterloo was used for entertainment is also explored, as battlefield tourists came from all over the world to vicariously experience the legendary battle through visualisations such as the travelling panoramas in England and poetry of Sir Walter Scott."


Main page


William Warner18 Jan 2019 6:53 p.m. PST

Sounds fascinating. I'm looking forward to it.

AussieAndy Supporting Member of TMP18 Jan 2019 9:50 p.m. PST

"Grouchy spent the next 60 years struggling to defend his honour" (notwithstanding that he died in 1847)? I assume that is a mistake of whoever wrote the blurb, rather than the author, but I'm still astounded by that sort of careless or lazy error.

ConnaughtRanger19 Jan 2019 2:22 a.m. PST

Bit like reading a thread on the TMP Napoleonic Boards? Plenty of myths and debates and, given the dogmatic, unbending attitude of some contributors, obviously memories too?

MaggieC70 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2019 6:49 a.m. PST

Appears to be one of those "earnest" efforts to provide a sort of mashup of Waterloo topics with attempted relevance four years after the anniversary. The publisher is akin to Pen & Sword, which puts out a decidedly mixed bag of books by writers of varied historical credentials--or not.

A lot of money for a pig in a poke, folks.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse19 Jan 2019 12:10 p.m. PST

Glad you like it my friend!.


Real Richard Hensley19 Jan 2019 3:34 p.m. PST

A pdf of his paper can be read at


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse19 Jan 2019 3:42 p.m. PST



Michael Westman21 Jan 2019 4:09 p.m. PST

The paper is worth reading. The best part is the chapter on Victor Hugo beginning on page 132. I didn't realize he was much more important and influential than just an author.

MaggieC70 Supporting Member of TMP21 Jan 2019 5:08 p.m. PST

There was also Stendhal [Marie-Henri Beyle] whose works also popularized the Napoleonic era.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse21 Jan 2019 8:44 p.m. PST

Thanks also!.


Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.