Went the Day Well?: Witnessing Waterloo

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9780007358380: Went the Day Well?: Witnessing Waterloo

Midnight, Sunday, June 18, 1815. Britain holds its breath. Since Napoleon’s escape from Elba in February, Europe has been jolted from eleven months of peace back into the frenzied panic of a war it believed had ended. “The whole complexion of the world is changed again,” writes George Ticknor, then a young American lawyer in Britain for the first time. “God only can forsee the consequences.” The nation is awash in reports and rumors. The Battle of Waterloo is close at hand.
           
Went the Day Well? is an astonishing hour-by-hour chronicle that starts the day before the battle that reset the course of world history and continues to its aftermath. Switching perspectives between Britain and Belgium, prison and palace, poet and pauper, lover and betrothed, husband and wife, David Crane paints a picture of Britain as it was that summer when everything changed. Drawing on a wide range of primary sources—from newspapers and journals to letters and poems—Went the Day Well? offers a highly original view of Waterloo, grand in scope but meticulous in detail.

What was Britain doing on that Sunday, from the mad king downward? Who were born to live out their lives in the Britain created at Waterloo? Who died? Who was preaching, who was writing and who was painting? Lyrically rendered in Crane’s signature prose style, Went the Day Well? freeze-frames the men and women of Britain in 1815 as they went about their business, attended lectures, worked in fields and factories—all on the cusp of a new, unforeseeable age.

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Product Description:

The panoramic story of Waterloo, from its causes to its aftermath, told through uniquely interwoven narratives drawn from the diaries, letters, reminiscences, and great novels of participants and witnesses--published in time for the 200th anniversary of the battle.

With Bonaparte's escape from Elba in February 1815, the world was jolted from the profound peace it had experienced for eleven months back into the frenzied panic of a war it believed had ended. David Crane captures the mixture of excitement and fear that gripped England in the final days of a war that opened up complex divisions in its society--from Liverpool merchants who celebrated the end of hostilities with America and stood allied against another war, to the children of the Romantic Age who felt torn between their own patriotism and a lingering hero-worship that no crime of Napoleon's could eradicate. And he gives us an unprecedented, revelatory hour-by-hour account of the day of the battle. Focusing as much upon the boys and men torn from their farms and flocks as on the aristocratic families who provided Wellington with his officers,  Went the Day Well? is a remarkable portrait of an entire nation engaged in a battle that changed the history of our world.

Review:

‘Magnificent … by far the most enjoyable account of the battle I have ever encountered. Crane has had the brilliant idea of interweaving a fast, colourful narrative of the battle with the story of what was happening in Britain … it is a social and cultural panorama, taking in everything from murderers and vicars to portrait-painters and prize-fighters … [Featuring] countless beautifully observed moments … Crane has a superb eye for fascinating little nuggets’ Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Mail

‘It will be hard to match the sheer verve and brilliance of David Crane’s evocation. Frame by frame, like a great stop-motion film, we see … heroes, villains, the innocent, the fortunate and damned, and the merely damned lucky. Crane weaves hour by hour diverging and coalescing human dramas of the day with deft originality. Here literary art trumps television drama at its best. It paints a brilliant continuous action drama of Britain then, and in doing so suggests an awful lot about Britain, its tastes and foibles, today … a book to die for’ Robert Fox, Evening Standard

‘A fascinating snapshot … It’s beautifully written, absorbingly researched and paints a vivid canvas where the mundane details are as fascinating as the momentous battle’ Sunday Express

‘Strikingly urgent and vivid’ Mail on Sunday

‘Of all the big battalions of books marking the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo, this has to be the best. Crane has used the bloody campaign as a telescope, bringing into sharp focus not just the carnage … but the state of Britain itself … The result is a rich feast: dramatic, poignant, funny, gruesome and tragic by turns. Crane selects a small cast to people his narrative, and involves us in their destinies without ever losing sight of the bigger picture’ Nigel Jones, Spectator

‘Terrific… an engaging book’ Independent

‘Sheer quality… In giving us a multifaceted portrait of the Regency age, he makes us think again about the battle and its impact on the British’ Literary Review

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. [Previously published as Went The Day Well ] Of all the books marking the bicentenary Waterloo, this has to be the best Spectator A book to die for Evening Standard From Samuel Johnson Prize shortlisted author David Crane, this is a breathtaking portrait of the Britain that fought the battle of Waterloo. As Wellington s rain-sodden army retreated towards an obscure valley called Waterloo, the men and women of Britain were still going to the theatre and science lectures, working in the fields and the factories, reading and writing books and sermons, painting their pictures and sitting in front of Lord Elgin s marbles. David Crane s stunning freeze-frame of Britain on this day of momentous change shifts hour by hour between Britain and Belgium. The Britain that fought Waterloo - its radicals and patriots, artisans and aristocrats, prisoners and poets - appears through the smoke of battle and the mythology of Waterloo in this magnificent and original tracing of the endless, overlapping connections between people s lives. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007358380

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 197 x 130 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. [Previously published as Went The Day Well ] Of all the books marking the bicentenary Waterloo, this has to be the best Spectator A book to die for Evening Standard From Samuel Johnson Prize shortlisted author David Crane, this is a breathtaking portrait of the Britain that fought the battle of Waterloo. As Wellington s rain-sodden army retreated towards an obscure valley called Waterloo, the men and women of Britain were still going to the theatre and science lectures, working in the fields and the factories, reading and writing books and sermons, painting their pictures and sitting in front of Lord Elgin s marbles. David Crane s stunning freeze-frame of Britain on this day of momentous change shifts hour by hour between Britain and Belgium. The Britain that fought Waterloo - its radicals and patriots, artisans and aristocrats, prisoners and poets - appears through the smoke of battle and the mythology of Waterloo in this magnificent and original tracing of the endless, overlapping connections between people s lives. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780007358380

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Book Description 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 131mm x 197mm x. Paperback. [Previously published as 'Went The Day Well'] 'Of all the books marking the bicentenary Waterloo, this has to be the best' Spectator 'A book to die for' Evening Standard From Samuel Johnso.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 384 pages. 0.294. Bookseller Inventory # 9780007358380

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; [Previously published as 'Went The Day Well'] 'Of all the books marking the bicentenary Waterloo, this has to be the best' Spectator 'A book to die for' Evening Standard From Samuel Johnson Prize shortlisted author David Crane, this is a breathtaking portrait of the Britain that fought the battle of. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780007358380_rkm

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Book Condition: New. From Samuel Johnson Prize shortlisted author David Crane, this book is about the Britain that fought the battle of Waterloo - from pauper to painter, poet to prince, soldier to civilian. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: 1DDB; 3JH; HBJD; HBLL; HBWH; JWLF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130. Weight in Grams: 300. . 2016. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780007358380

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2016. Book Condition: New. From Samuel Johnson Prize shortlisted author David Crane, this book is about the Britain that fought the battle of Waterloo - from pauper to painter, poet to prince, soldier to civilian. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: 1DDB; 3JH; HBJD; HBLL; HBWH; JWLF. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130. Weight in Grams: 300. . 2016. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780007358380

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Went the Day Well?: Witnessing Waterloo, David Crane, From Samuel Johnson Prize shortlisted author David Crane, this book is about the Britain that fought the battle of Waterloo - from pauper to painter, poet to prince, soldier to civilian. Midnight, Sunday, 17 June 1815. There was no town in England that had not sent its soldiers, hardly a household that was not holding its breath, not a family, as Byron put it, that would escape 'havoc's tender mercies' at Waterloo, and yet at the same time life inevitably went on as normal. As Wellington's rain-sodden army retreated for the final, decisive battle, men and women in England were still going to the theatre and science lectures, still working in the fields and the factories, still reading and writing books and sermons, still painting their pictures and sitting in front of Lord Elgin's marbles as if almost five thousand did not already lie dead. After ten hours of savage fighting, Waterloo would be littered with the bodies of something like 47,000 dead and wounded. Meanwhile, as the day unfolded, a whole nation, countryside and town, artisan and aristocrat, was brought together by war. From Samuel Johnson Prize shortlisted author David Crane, Went the Day Well is a breathtaking portrait of Britain in those moments. Moving from England to the battle and back again this vivid, stunning freeze-frame of a country on the single most celebrated day in its modern history shows Crane's full range in tracing the endless, overlapping connections between people's lives. From private tragedies, disappointed political hopes, and public discontents to grandiloquent public celebrations and monuments, it answers Wellington's call as he rallied his troops to 'Think what England is thinking of us now'. Bookseller Inventory # B9780007358380

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