Welcome to this new website. There’s a lot to see and read here and I hope you find it interesting. To be frank, there are two objectives: to get you interested enough to order the book (go to the Faber, Amazon and Waterstone’s links) and to provide additional information to those who have read it.
You may well be wondering how Hugh Grant comes to be involved. I know him from my work with Hacked Off (see http://hackinginquiry.org), the campaign for a free and accountable press. It occurred to me that he would make a terrific Duke of Wellington and so I asked if he would record a reading of the Waterloo Dispatch. Very kindly, he agreed, and the result is terrific.
The full reading, which runs to about 15 minutes, will be released in a couple of weeks. It is worth waiting for.
This year is the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo and there are a lot of good books about it out there, but this is the only one that looks at the angle of how the news travelled, and I think the story has things to say to a generation of people fascinated by communication and information.
Things moved slowly in 1815 – in some ways comically so – but that allows us to see what happens step by step, and I have found the results absorbing.
The story is also full of incident, drama and remarkable characters. Some of these characters, such as Wellington himself and Lord Castlereagh, are well known. Others, such as the mysterious Mr C of Dover, and the reckless Daniel Sutton, and the Knight of Kerry, are not famous. They make a great mix.
And then there is the Rothschild myth, an unsavoury legacy from the anti-Semitic past that is explored a good deal here. To get a real picture of the evidence and the arguments you need to read the book, but I hope there is enough on the pages here to get you intrigued.
If you have comments, or if you have relevant information that adds to the picture, or if you have found a mistake you would like to see corrected, please leave a message in the Contact tab.