Battle of Waterloo - Extraordinary Editions
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The Battle of Waterloo 1815
A Commemorative Anthology
This two volume publication is indeed extraordinary, as it is beautifully bound, superbly printed, magnificently illustrated and a delight to read. It is now one of the most treasured editions in my library (which contains nearly 200 limited editions).
The manuscript is built around Mudford’s very readable “An Historical Account of the Campaign in the Netherlands”, but is interspersed with more than a hundred fascinating first hand accounts of the battles in and around Waterloo, written by a wide range of participants from privates to generals, civilians and even some French combatants. These amazing accounts really bring the battle to life and down to a very personal spine tingling level. The result is an extraordinarily vivid depiction of the battle through the eyes of the men who were there.
The book also reproduces The Duke’s first draft of the Waterloo Dispatch in its entirety, fully transcribed and with footnotes.
The two 36 cm. high volumes consist of a large 470 page dialogue, and a thinner map case which contains eight large detailed facsimile fold-out contemporary maps of the battlefield. The text volume is profusely illustrated with innumerable contemporary art works (some are multi-page fold-outs), diagrams and maps. The famous panorama of the battlefield published by John Booth is one of the fold-outs that are bound into the book.
The publication is limited to 1815 copies, of which 200 are “Exemplary Editions” that are bound in lusciously thick chocolate coloured calf leather which smells fabulous, and is housed in a copy of an officers wooden travelling portmanteau (it can be purchased without this at a reduced cost if desired).
I have purchased copy number 63 of the Exemplary Edition.
All three sides of the text block are gilded and the book is bound by hand with raised bands and gold lettering to the spine. There are three page marking ribbons of two different colours and thickness to allow the reader to mark their place with the thick red ribbon while marking interesting and relevant maps or diagrams with the thinner blue ribbons.
One of the most impressive features is the fact that the title and English and French flags on the cover are embroidered into the leather in coloured thread with gold and silver details.
The specially made acid free archival quality paper is thick and tactile, the print large and easy to read, and footnotes are highlighted in red beside the text.
The map portfolio is also hand crafted in a full leather binding of matching calf with raised bands on the spine, blocked in gold with the design of the Waterloo medal and lined with scarlet silk. The accurate and full size facsimile maps preserve the three dimensional effect created by their exceptionally fine engraving. This can be seen to best effect when a light source is placed at the centre of the top of the maps, which rewards the reader with a stunning image of the topography.
The Exemplary Edition features two additional maps - a facsimile of the Duke of Wellington’s own map, which he is believed to have used during the battle, and a full sized copy of Du Craan’s incredibly detailed map, created for the King.
I cannot commend this publication enough for anyone interested in fine books, modern European history or the lives of Wellington and Napoleon.
I also own Extraordinary Editions “Medieval Fightbook” facsimile, “I.33”, which is another fabulous publication.
Extraordinary Editions website is at:-
I have no connection with Extraordinary Editions other than being a very satisfied customer.
>1 wcarter: Thanks for the detailed review. I was on the fence for this book for a long time and kept drooling over it on the publisher's website. The full leather edition is out-of-budget and will go for the (relatively) cheaper edition.
I've been thinking about getting this since 2015. I suspect one day I'll succumb and splurge on the Extraordinary edition. Thanks for the photos!
"Currently the Commemorative Edition is available at £850 a copy
This price will stand until 30th June 2015 after which copies will cost £950
The remaining 200 copies will make up the Exemplary Edition.
Currently the Exemplary Edition is available at £1815
From June 30th 2015 the Exemplary Edition will cost £2000"
As beautiful as this is, that's a lot of money... also note that delivery in the USA is an extra £100. So you're paying over $1300 for the regular edition. I do envy those of you that can afford this :)
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