Untold lives blog

« May 2015 | Main | July 2015»

13 posts from June 2015

30 June 2015

Break of service

As Wimbledon fortnight swings into action, spare a thought for poor Thomas Tomkins who died at Madras in 1834 because of tennis.

The Madras Club was founded in 1832.  800 members had enrolled by the time of the second general meeting of subscribers in April of that year.  They were exclusively male, drawn from civil servants; officers of the East India Company and His Majesty’s Armies; officers of the Medical Department; members of the legal profession and the clergy.  The Club Committee set to work to adapt a house and grounds near the Mount Road to meet its requirements: bedrooms, two billiard rooms and a racquet court.  There was also a smoking-room: at that time smoking was not allowed in the club house and bedrooms.  This rule however proved hard to enforce.

By October 1832, the Club had over 1,200 members and a large amount of subscription money in the kitty.  Commenting that ‘the game of Rackets can only be played in this country at stated hours in the morning and evening’, the Committee decided to build a covered tennis court at a cost of 15,000 rupees.  A skilled man would be brought from England to superintend the construction and then act as marker.  He would be paid a salary of 150 rupees per month plus 500 rupees for his passage.

Drawing of man playing tennis


Illustration by Richard Caulfield Orpen for Fitzwilliam Square. A lawn tennis lay by F.W. (1885) Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

 

In July 1833, the East India Company Court of Directors in London granted permission to Thomas Tomkins to proceed to Madras ‘for the purpose of being employed as a marker in the tennis court about to be established there’.  Tomkins sailed out to Madras, but by the time he arrived the Committee had changed its plans. Instead of a tennis court, it was decided on reflection to install a large swimming bath and a set of private hot, cold, and steam baths.  A tennis court was expensive, and the marker an additional cost. Moreover if the marker’s health suffered from the climate in Madras, ‘the amusement from the game would be liable to much interruption’.

Thomas Tomkins described himself as being ‘employed at the Club House’ when he married widow Sarah Thomas at Vepery Church on 7 March 1834.  His return to England was planned, with the Club paying for his passage.  Sadly the Committee’s apprehension about his state of health proved only too accurate and Tomkins died in September 1834 at the age of 30.  He was buried at St Mary’s Church Madras and the Committee paid his funeral expenses.

Plans for the swimming pool also fell through and it was 20 years before a bath was built at the Club.  The first court for lawn tennis was laid down in 1876 and the sport became a permanent feature for members.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records 


Further reading:
H D Love, Short Historical Notice of the Madras Club (Madras, 1902)
IOR/B/186 pp.418-419 Minutes of East India Company Court of Directors, 17 July 1833
IOR/E/943 p.536 Public Letter No.37 of 1833 to Madras

26 June 2015

ABBA’s Waterloo at the Prince Regent’s Stables

1974 saw ABBA win the Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden with their song ‘Waterloo’, one of the best remembered entries from the show’s long history which quickly catapulted the group to international fame. But how many of us watching the live broadcast over four decades ago realised that Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid were performing in a space once graced by royal stallions?

ABBA winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974

ABBA winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 courtesy of YouTube

 

In Eurovision land, the winning country hosts the following year’s competition. Having won two years in a row, diminutive Luxembourg was in a fix and so Britain stepped in. Rather than hosting the show in London, the BBC chose one of the largest concert halls on the south coast, The Dome in Brighton.

Brighton Dome

The Dome at Brighton today Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

 

This yellow brick edifice with minarets and an impressive 24 metre cast iron dome was constructed in 1804-8 for George, Prince of Wales (soon to become Prince Regent, and later King George IV). The building’s ‘Indian-Saracenic’ design, created by William Porden (ca. 1755-1822), pre-dates that of the neighbouring Royal Pavilion as we know it today, which at the time comprised only a smaller neo-classical structure. The purpose of Porden’s monumental creation was as stabling for the prince’s horses, with an adjacent hall – now the city’s Corn Exchange – acting as a riding school. The stage where ABBA sang was built inside the circular stables where up to 60 royal horses were once housed and groomed. The balconies from which Europe’s television broadcasters provided their live commentary held accommodation for stable-boys.

Brighton Pavilion

74/558*.h.12 John Nash, 'Her Majesty's Palace at Brighton' (London, 1838)  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

 

Queen Victoria disliked the royal estate at Brighton, and in the 1850s the buildings were all sold to the town corporation. The circular stables were first concerted into a concert hall 1867-73, and the space has been remodelled several times since. Its most recent refurbishment was in 1998-2001, when a certain Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA stepped up to become one of its 50 famous patrons. He hasn’t yet offered to give an updated performance of ‘Waterloo’ at the Dome, but here’s hoping!

Adrian Edwards
Head of Printed Heritage Collections

Further reading:
Brighton and Hove, by Nicholas Antram and Richard Morrice. (Pevsner Architecture Guides.) [New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008].
The New Encyclopædia of Brighton, by Rose Collis. [Brighton: B&H City Council, 2010].
The Complete Eurovision Song Contest Companion, by Paul Gambaccini, Tim Rice, Jonathan Rice and Tony Brown. [London: Pavilion Books, 1998].
Illustrations of Her Majesty's Palace at Brighton, formerly the Pavilion, executed by the command of King George the Fourth under superintendence of John Nash Esq Architect (London, 1838).

A free display “Waterloo: War and Diplomacy” runs until 6 September 2015 in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery.

24 June 2015

The Return of the Emperor

A curious book, published in St Helena in 1840, relates the events that led to the exhumation of the body of Napoleon Bonaparte and the return of his remains to France.

The account is based on a memorandum by Mr Janisch, a former secretary to the Governor of the Island, Sir Hudson Lowe, who was present on that solemn occasion. The original memorandum seems to have had a wide circulation and it proved so interesting to its author’s acquaintances that he agreed to have a number of copies printed. Joseph Lockwood (an editor, and the builder of St Helena’s cathedral) carefully annotated his copy and added copies of other relevant papers to it, including entries to a visitor’s book kept by the Torbett family who owned the land on which Napoleon was first buried. This copy is held in the British Library and has since been digitised.

Account of Napoleon's exhumation ceremony

From The exhumation of the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

For some years the French government had urged the British authorities to repatriate the body of Napoleon but it was not until October 1840 (some 19 years after his death) that French ships finally arrived at the island of St Helena to bring the Emperor home. A chapel had been set up to receive him on board the French frigate Belle Poule, and Janisch, who was part of the welcoming party, describes it as being ‘hung with black velvet studded with silver stars’ and furnished with a panoply of imperial eagles, crowns and candelabras.

The exhumation itself took place in the early hours of 15 October, which was the 25th anniversary of Napoleon’s arrival at St Helena and those present were clearly struck with awe and wonder. ‘The waning moon threw her pale light upon the scene below’ writes Janisch evocatively.

Night view of Napoleon's exhumation

Night view of the exhumation From The exhumation of the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

The tomb at first proved very difficult to penetrate. It was surrounded by railings and once these were removed the workmen were confronted by an 11 inch slab of solid concrete, reinforced with iron bars which prevented access to the vault. For a time it looked as if the ceremonial procession of the remains, planned for later that day, would have to be delayed.

When finally the coffin was removed and opened, the body of the Emperor proved to have been almost miraculously preserved. His cocked hat was seen to be placed across his legs, and a silver vase, crowned with the imperial eagle and containing his heart, was located near the body. The remains were immediately transferred to an elaborate sarcophagus which was loaded on to a specially constructed and ornamented hearse.

Details of Napoloeon's funeral procession

Details of funeral procession From The exhumation of the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

 

By 4 o’clock that afternoon the cortege was finally assembled. A long procession of people followed the hearse including the St Helena local militia, British troops from Her Majesty’s 91st regiment, clergy, choristers, officers of the French and British navies, senior officials (including the then Governor, General George Middlemore) and the French representative, the Prince de Joinville. After parading through the island, the cortege at length reached the harbour where the Belle Poule was waiting, and after a period of lying in state, the French ships departed for France, accompanied by the ceremonial firing of cannon. As Janisch remarks, ‘thus ended this eventful drama which will ever be remembered in the annals of St Helena’.

Gillian Ridgley
Lead Curator, Contemporary Archives and Manuscripts (Politics & Public Life)

Further reading:
The exhumation of the remains of Napoleon Bonaparte. MS notes by [J Lockwood]
[St Helena, 1840] 10095.dd.25.(2.)

A free display “Waterloo: War and Diplomacy” runs until 6 September 2015 in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery.

 

23 June 2015

George Canning and Waterloo: international politics and personal loss

The battle of Waterloo was fought on 18 June, 1815 ending in the total defeat of the French forces led by Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) by the combined armies of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) and the Prussian field marshall, Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (1742-1819).

A80133-22large

The Battle of Waterloo, also of Ligny and Quatre-Bras described by ... a near observer ... [A narrative by C. A. Eaton, with a sketch by J. Waldie. With other matter... from sketches by Captain G. Jones.] Tenth edition, enlarged and corrected, (London, 1817). G.5651  Noc
Images Online

An interesting insight into conflicting political and personal feelings in the aftermath of the battle can be found in two letters sent by the British politician George Canning (1770-1827) to the Portuguese general Colonel Dom Miguel Pereira Forjaz, 9th Count of Feira (1769-1827). Canning had been British Ambassador to Portugal since November 1812, tasked primarily with improving relations with the Portuguese government. When Napoleon escaped from the island of Elba on 26 February, 1815, the Portuguese refused a British government request to provide troops for the anti-Napoleonic alliance. Canning did his utmost to persuade the Portuguese to cooperate right up until the final victory at Waterloo. That the British were a little displeased with the Portuguese is reflected in Canning’s letter to Colonel Forjaz dated 5 July, 1815 only 17 days after the battle.

Photo-01

As an Englishman, & a friend of the Duke of Wellington, it is necessary to say how much I rejoice on this glorious occasion. I would that I felt no cause for regret as a good Portuguese! But it is mortifying that Portugal should stand forth in the face of Europe the only Power that has directly declined to take any part in the contest so happily begun, &, I think we may say, concluded!

Photo-02

Canning’s understandable triumphalism was to be cut short by the news that his cousin, Charles Fox Canning, one of Wellington’s aide-de-camps, had been killed at Waterloo. In a letter to Forjaz dated 13 July, 1815 Canning writes:

Photo-03

I find on my table your very kind letter of yesterday. The loss of my cousin was indeed a great drawback to me on the joy which the Victory of Waterloo (the final salvation of Europe) was calculated to inspire. He had gone through all Lord Wellington’s Campaigns with Him from the beginning to the end of the Peninsular War, and hitherto had partaken of the good fortune of His Commander, - never being even touched by a ball. In this last battle the Duke exposed himself the whole day to the very front of danger. In consequence but one of his aide-de-camps escaped unhurt. My cousin was one of two who had the glory of falling by his side.

Photo-04

Although the display of grief is quite formal you can still get an idea of Canning, in essence, trying to balance national political interest with a deep personal grief, his own, and that of his cousin’s family.

the good character which I had received of him from Lord Wellington, justified & proved by the manner of his death, makes me deeply sensible of the loss sustained by his family.

Photo-05

The images of the archives are taken from the George Canning Collection, Add MS 89143, which is being catalogued by the author of this blog.

Jonathan Pledge  Cc-by

Curator, Modern Archives and Manuscripts

Further reading

Explore Archives and Manuscripts

A free display, Waterloo: War and Diplomacy, runs until 6 September 2015 in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery.

22 June 2015

The celebration of Waterloo in 1817

To celebrate the second anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, Strand Bridge was opened by the Prince of Wales (later George IV) and the Duke of Wellington on 18 June 1817. The bridge soon became known as Waterloo Bridge. This hand-coloured etching and aquatint was published by Rudolph Ackermann on 21 June 1817 and is part of King George III’s Topographical Collection.

Waterloo Bridge on 18 June 1817

Maps K.Top.22.40.b. HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS THE PRINCE REGENT and DUKE OF WELLINGTON &c. &c. &c. First visit to Waterloo Bridge, on the 18th of June, 1817 (Taken from Somerset House). Published June 21st 1817 by R. Ackermann, 101 Strand. Etching and aquatint with hand colouring.  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

 

The vantage point depicted is unusual as it conflates a view across the bridge with another along the River Thames to Westminster Abbey and beyond. This perspectival trick allows the viewer to take in two aspects of the event. The Prince travelled along the River Thames in the royal barge surrounded by a flotilla of boats, before landing at Waterloo Bridge. The royal barge can be seen to the left in the foreground with the other boats moving along the Thames from Whitehall to the right. The Prince was met by the Duke of York and the Duke of Wellington and was escorted across the bridge surrounded by soldiers, before returning to Whitehall by water. The perspective employed in this print allows the viewer to experience the narrative of the event and follow the route which the Prince took from Whitehall by boat and across the bridge on horseback.

The print also enables to viewer to link the celebrations to the Battle of Waterloo itself. Smoke billowing from below the bridge evokes cannon fire while the marching soldiers call to mind the battlefield, reminding the spectator of the military success being commemorated. The celebration, and indeed the print itself, continue the tradition of the use of the River Thames as a site of drama and the setting for grand military and royal performances.

Another view from King George III’s Topographical Collection shows Ackermann’s shop at 101 Strand, from where this print would have been sold.

Ackermann's Repository of Arts 1809

Maps K.Top.27.16.1. ACKERMANN'S REPOSITORY OF ARTS, 101 STRAND. Drawn by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson. Published by Rudolph Ackerman, January 1809. Etching and aquatint with hand-colouring.Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

 

Ackermann’s shop was only a few metres away from Somerset House and the site of the new bridge. A map published on 1 July 1817 by William Darton shows new Waterloo Bridge.

Plan of the cities of London & Westminster, & borough of Southwark;

Maps 198.b.72. An entire new plan of the cities oif London & Westminster, & borough of Southwark; the West India Docks, Regents Park, New Bridges &c &c with the whole of the new improvements of the present time. Published 1 July 1817 by William Darton.Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

 

It is possible to see just how close 101 Strand was to the bridge. It is between the letters ‘S’ and ‘R’ of ‘STRAND’ on the map, marked as (a). The vantage point from which the view is taken at Somerset House is marked as (b). The new Waterloo Bridge is marked as (c) and Whitehall as (d).

Ackermann’s print of Waterloo Bridge was published just three days after its opening, showing his ability to  respond quickly to popular subject-matter and events. It was only available with hand-colouring and sold for four shillings. In reality, it is likely that Ackermann had ordered printmakers to begin working on the copper printing plate before the event, as etching, aquatinting, printing and hand-colouring was a lengthy process. Similarly, Ackermann didn’t advertise the print in his Repository of Arts until 1 July (Vol IV, 1 July 1817, No XIX) showing that it wasn’t available until after this date, despite the plate being lettered in June. This accounts for the time it took to print the image and then add hand-colouring.

Alexandra Ault
Cataloguer of Coloured Views, King's Topographical Collection

A free display “Waterloo: War and Diplomacy” runs until 6 September 2015 in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery.

 

19 June 2015

Wellington’s Friend

John Malcolm left his school and family in Scotland at the age of 13 and joined the East India Company. He rose through the ranks, eventually becoming Governor of Bombay.  During the Mysore war of 1798, he formed a lifelong friendship with the governor-general Lord Wellesley’s brother Arthur, the future Duke of Wellington.

After spending time in Persia as a British envoy and then returning to India, Malcolm returned to England for five years’ furlough. Wellington advised him to try to get into Parliament. 

Just after the Battle of Waterloo, Malcolm received a personal invitation from the Duke of Wellington to join him in Paris to celebrate the victory.  On his way to Paris, in July 1815, Malcolm passed by Waterloo. From his diaries we can read his account of the visit of what had already become in a month ‘one of the most celebrated battle-fields ever named in the history of the world’.

   Battle of Waterloo

The Battle of Waterloo from The Wars of Wellington, a narrative poem by Dr. S. (London, 1819)  Images Online Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

On the morning of 20 July, Malcolm rode out to Waterloo. It was with no ordinary emotion that he contemplated the scene, an expanse of farm-land which had suddenly risen out of  obscurity. His feelings were those of mingled exultation and regret. A glorious victory had been achieved, and he had not been there even to witness it.

"As I approached this field of fame," he wrote in his journal, “my feelings of exultation as an Englishman were checked by a recollection that I had personally no share of the glory of that wonderful day. To have been even a spectator in such an action must give fame for life." General Adam sent his aide-de-camp to explain to Malcolm “the particulars of the position of the two armies". Malcolm spent three hours on the field, and jotted down in his note-book many particulars of the great battle.

Malcolm was one of the first tourists visiting Waterloo’s battlefield and his account shows an early sacralisation of the site. The Battle modified the itinerary of European travel from Britain after 1815, with Thomas Cook later promoting it as a destination. Even today Waterloo is still one of Belgium’s most important tourism sites.

Having thus visited Waterloo, Malcolm proceeded onward to Paris to spend about a month with the Duke of Wellington.  His old friend received Malcolm cordially and invited him to all the celebratory activities being held in the French capital.

After his return to London, Malcolm became a literary celebrity on the publication of his History of Persia.  He sailed again for India the following year.

Malcolm eventually returned to the UK and became a Member of Parliament in 1831, supporting his friend Wellington during his time as Prime Minister.

Valentina Mirabella
Archival Specialist, British Library/Qatar Foundation Partnership

The Life and Correspondence of Major-General Sir John Malcolm, G.C.B., late envoy to Persia, and governor of Bombay; from unpublished letters and journals. British Library: T 36845 vol. 2, in Qatar Digital Library

More on John Malcolm  - Diamonds at the Court of the Shah 

 

A free display “Waterloo: War and Diplomacy” runs until 6 September 2015 in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery.

 

18 June 2015

The Waterloo veteran

 As soldiers of the Welsh Regiment were waiting on the platform at Cardiff Station in September 1904, an old man appeared.  He wore a tin placard round his neck:
‘This is to certify that John Vaughan was born in March 13th, 1801, and is 103 years of age.  He is licensed to sell bootlaces and other articles’.

Vaughan claimed that he had been a bugler in British Army, serving in the Napoleonic Wars, the Crimea, and the Indian Mutiny.  At the age of just fourteen, he had the honour of conveying to Wellington the welcome news that Blucher and his forces were approaching, and had then led General Blucher onto the field at Waterloo.


  Stories of Waterloo book cover

William Hamilton Maxwell, Stories of Waterloo (London, 1880)  BL flickr Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Stories about Vaughan appeared in many local newspapers as he tramped round the country peddling his wares, popping up in places as far apart as Yorkshire, Wales, Durham, Somerset, and Merseyside.  He said that he needed to work as a hawker as his military pension of 1s per day had lapsed and he preferred the freedom of the open air to the confines of a workhouse.  People often gathered to hear Vaughan’s tales and he gladly accepted offerings of small change whilst not actually begging.

John Vaughan said he was the son of a Colonel in the Warwickshire Regiment. He had joined the 17th Lancers as a bugler, transferring after the Battle of Waterloo to the 24th Fusiliers. The ulcers on his legs were the result of wounds received at Waterloo. Reporters who met him variously described him as ‘intelligent and communicative’, ‘very slow and deliberate in his speech’, and as ‘a venerable warrior’ with ‘a wonderful memory of the graphic scenes at Waterloo’.

However, discrepancies in Vaughan’s story began to appear. At first these were put down to his memory being unreliable because of his advanced years. Then a journalist with the London Evening Standard contacted the War Office about the authenticity of Vaughan’s claims.  The King heard about Vaughan and ordered an inquiry into his case.

In 1874 a commission had been appointed to find all the Waterloo survivors with the aim of increasing their pensions. The youngest traced was a drummer aged ten in 1815. Vaughan had not appeared in the list.  Most importantly, the 17th Lancers had not fought at Waterloo.  A doctor also confirmed that Vaughan’s ulcers were not caused by gunshot wounds. Vaughan was not nearly as old as he claimed.

By this time, Vaughan had been admitted to the ward for ancients at the Birkenhead workhouse.  He did not take kindly to being revealed as a fraud: ‘Pressed further for definite replies to questions, Vaughan became unruly, and attempted to leave his bed and fight’. Perhaps he had come to believe his own yarn? The Lancashire Evening Post concluded: ‘He may be able to blow his own bugle; in fact he seems to have done so to some purpose - but he never did it at Waterloo’.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
British Newspaper Archive – for example: Gloucester Citizen 23 September 1904; Aberdeen Journal 6 July 1905; Dundee Courier 17 & 19 August 1905; Lancashire Evening Post 18 August 1905; Northampton Mercury 18 August 1905; Edinburgh Evening News 19 August 1905; Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser 23 & 30 August 1905.

A free display “Waterloo: War and Diplomacy” runs until 6 September 2015 in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery.

 

17 June 2015

The Battle of Waterloo in 16 objects

It is 200 years since the Battle of Waterloo was fought in fields south of Brussels, on 18 June 1815. The battle saw the expansionist ambitions of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte shattered, with his defeat by the Duke of Wellington’s Anglo-Allied army, and the Prussian army under Marshal Blücher.  The British Library is marking the anniversary with a display of 16 unique historical documents, artworks, literary manuscripts and rare printed texts. Here is a taste of what is on display.

Napoleon had conquered much of Europe before being beaten and exiled to the island of Elba in 1814. On 26 February 1815 he escaped and returned to Paris, intent on regaining his empire. This satirical etching, probably by George Cruikshank, depicts Napoleon as a fox running towards Paris. Geese carry the news to the Congress of Vienna, which had been developing a peace plan for post-Napoleonic Europe.

   The fox and the goose; or, Boney broke loose!
  The fox and the goose; or, Boney broke loose! (1815). Maps 185.r.2.(2.)  Images Online Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

The Congress immediately branded Napoleon an outlaw. The original draft of their ‘Declaration of Outlawry’ is on display alongside the etching.

The centrepiece of the display is the Duke of Wellington’s own account of the Battle of Waterloo, which he probably partly drafted on the battlefield and completed in Brussels.  In his ‘Waterloo Despatch’, Wellington wrote that ‘the attack succeeded in every point; the enemy was forced from his positions on the heights and fled in the utmost confusion, leaving behind him as far as I could judge 150 pieces of cannon with their ammunition which fell into our hands’.

Also featured is this early plan of the battlefield drawn by John Wilson Croker, a close friend of the Duke of Wellington and therefore someone with access to accurate information. Wellington’s forces are shown in red, and the Prussians in black. The various stages of the French advance are depicted in blue. To the centre left is the farmhouse at Hougoumont, which was fiercely contested during the battle.

Waterloo - plan of battlefield

  Plan of the Waterloo battlefield by John Wilson Croker (1815). Add MS 40183, f. 285r Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

The army officer and military historian William Siborne was commissioned in 1830 to build a model of the Battle of Waterloo. He sent a circular to surviving officers requesting information on the layout of the battlefield. The replies he received provide unique eyewitness reports of the battle. In this one, Captain Charles Fairfield describes – and illustrates – a ‘sort of “defense” which was erected inside the wall at Hougoumont’.  

Defences at Hougoumont

Sketch by Charles Fairfield of Hougoumont defences (1836). Add MS 34706, f. 130r Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

After the battle, Napoleon was captured by the British. This sketch by John Elliott shows the formation of ships while Napoleon was being transferred to the HMS Northumberland, before being transported to St Helena.  The list of wine provided to Napoleon on St Helena is also on display.

‘The form in which the ships lay, while removing Buounaparte from the Bellerophon to the Northumberland’

‘The form in which the ships lay, while removing Buounaparte from the Bellerophon to the Northumberland’ (1815?). 
Add MS 60335, f. 48v Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

 

With Napoleon’s defeat came a period of relative peace and stability in Europe, but one gained at an enormous price, as both sides suffered terrible losses. The final section of the display is devoted to literary and musical responses to the carnage of Waterloo, and includes original manuscripts of Lord Byron and Thomas Hardy.

Sandra Tuppen
Lead Curator, Modern Archives and Manuscripts, 1601-1850

The free display “Waterloo: War and Diplomacy” runs until 6 September 2015 in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery.

 

Untold lives blog recent posts

Archives

Tags

Other British Library blogs