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Waltzing into War - How Britain Almost Lost the Battle of Waterloo (Hardcover) Loot Price: R493
Discovery Miles 4 930
Waltzing into War - How Britain Almost Lost the Battle of Waterloo (Hardcover): Roger MacDonald
Waltzing into War - How Britain Almost Lost the Battle of Waterloo (Hardcover): Roger MacDonald

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Waltzing into War - How Britain Almost Lost the Battle of Waterloo (Hardcover)

Roger MacDonald

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Loot Price R493 Discovery Miles 4 930

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'The Spy at the Waterloo ball'IN JUNE 1815, before the Battle of Waterloo, the doyenne of Britain's economic exiles in Brussels, Charlotte, Duchess of Richmond, outmanoeuvres the renowned Duke of Wellington. In a city full of Napoleon's supporters, the Duke is unable to cancel her eagerly awaited society ball without prompting unrest and alarm and feels obliged to attend. When news arrives at the ball that Bonaparte has crossed the Belgian frontier and British officers immediately seek to re-join their regiments, the Duchess, quite literally, stands in their way.Worse still, there is a French spy in their midst. Artillery captain Alex Mercer recalls the bogus Colonel Durngler, a brazen, self-invited guest at the Duchess of Richmond's ball:'He was dressed as our hussars usually were when riding about the country - blue frock, scarlet waistcoat laced with gold, pantaloons, and correct in every particular. Moreover, he aped to the very life that "devil-may-care" nonchalant air so frequently characterising our young men of fashion'.The man hidden behind the disguise is one of Napoleon's youngest generals, Charles de la Bedoyere.Charles is a combination of the real d'Artagnan and the fictional Richard Sharpe: fearless, famous and foolish. His survival on the battlefield is against all the odds. But disobeying orders and misreading the politics of a situation lands him in serious trouble time and time again. La Bedoyere believes he holds the key to a French victory at Waterloo but his hubris ensures their total defeat and duly seals his own tragic fate.Oxford historian Roger Macdonald places history's most famous ball in its truly quixotic context. He describes the bizarre role of the waltz in the nineteenth century struggle for European dominance, where the once forbidden dance divides opinion, provokes duels, stimulates lascivious desire and even influences diplomacy. Behind the scenes Europe's titled ladies quietly pull the strings. Another duchess tips off Napoleon that he is about to be moved to Saint Helena, prompting his escape from Elba. An Italian countess supplies the honey trap that lures away the British diplomat supposed to be watching the deposed Emperor. A Russian princess in London changes her lovers with every British Cabinet reshuffle.In a world of breath-taking hypocrisy and epic double standards, the Countess of Jersey lives in fear that her dominance of London society will be ruined by the relative who is an Anglican bishop by day and a highwayman by night.


Imprint: The Goodchild Press Ltd
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Release date: June 2015
Authors: Roger MacDonald
Dimensions: 254 x 180 x 20mm (L x W x T)
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 195
ISBN-13: 978-1-897657-00-3
Barcode: 9781897657003
Categories: Books > Humanities > History > World history > 1750 to 1900
Books > History > World history > 1750 to 1900
Books > Social sciences > Warfare & defence > War & defence operations > Battles & campaigns
LSN: 1-897657-00-5

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