published by The Bodley Head 

 

Latest Reviews:

O'Keeffe's chilling descriptions of the night after Waterloo is particularly effective. It is the starting point for a wider discussion of the ramifications of the battle. We learn how news of Waterloo was received in London and Paris. We follow the Prussians in their "murderous euphoria" as they pursued Napoleon's army out of Belgium and into France. We revisit Waterloo as a tourist attraction thick with voyeuristic sightseers eager to buy grisly souvenirs from local looters. The more human remains and bloodied weapons these people saw, the happier they seemed.   Telegraph   Read more....

It is all here, though - the ferocious Prussian moonlit hunt of the fleeing French, Genappe, Versailles, the occupation of Paris, the stripping of the Louvre, Bonaparte's surrender to Captain Maitland - and all told with the same verve, eye for anecdote and command of the material. This is a very good book, and a model of how narrative history should be written. And as the 'aftermath' of Waterloo stretches into its 200th triumphalist year, one that anybody remotely interested in the battle should read. Spectator  Read more..

Scotsman Read more...

 After midnight on 19 June 1815:
  • Upwards of 50.000 men and 7.000 horses lay dead and wounded on the battlefield of Waterloo...
  • The Duke of Wellington, caked in the previous day's dust and sweat, began the dispatch that would send his country into mourning and jubilation...
  • The wreckage of a once proud French  Imperial Army was struggling in abject disorder to the Belgium frontier pursued by murderous Prussian dragoons...
  • Napoleon Bonaparte, exhausted and stunned at the scale of his defeat, rode through the darkness towards Paris, abdication, and the end of his Empire.
During the following hours, days, weeks and months:
  •  The battlefield was looted, cleared of its wounded, its dead buried or burned, its ground and ruins overrun by tourists...
  • News of the battle spread by dispatch rider, carriage, packet ship, and laurel-decked Mail Coach, shaping and defining the consciousness of an Age...
  • The victorious armies invaded France, occupied Paris, and dispersed the contents of the Louvre Museum; Wellington in a spirit of reconciliation, Marshal Blücher in one of vengeance...
  • As France's enemies closed in and his Ministers manoeuvred  to be rid of him, Napoleon saw all avenues closed except surrender, exile and captivity.
   

In this dramatic and ground-breaking account of the aftermath of the battle of Waterloo, Paul O'Keeffe employs a multiplicity of contemporary sources and viewpoints to create a reading experience that brings the sights, sounds and smells of the battlefield, of conquest and defeat, of celebration and riot, into focus as never before.