One of those battles that have a Before and an After… I mean, Châlons was a remarkable battle, but once it was fought, nobody felt it had changed the world. Even though, in retrospect, perhaps it did – if only in the way Aëtius not only had to find himself Barbarian allies against the Huns, but afterwards was to wary of the Visigoths to let them rout the Huns in earnest – nobody felt it at the time. Cannae, on the other hand, and Hastings, and Waterloo… It is the sense of no-return.
So, Waterloo was One of Those Battles, and left a lasting sense of a world-changing event. Unsurprisingly, it also left a long trail of fictional treatments, because frankly, when it comes to conflict, what better backdrop than a world-changing battle?
To remember Waterloo, then, I thought I’d share a link to Historical Novels.info’s extensive bibliography of novels set during the Napoleonic era. Not all the books listed deal with Waterloo, but that’s easily solved by pressing CTRL+F and typing “Waterloo” in the search box.
While you are there, you can check the lists for the other epochs, and have a look at the blog. The site claims to list over 5000 novels by time and place. I cannot guarantee the numbers, but it’s well worth a look.