Book of Kells
Today is the 198th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, 18 June 1815.
Considered a turning point in European history, the battle marked the end of the age of Napoleon and ushered in a reactionary but largely peaceful half-century or so for Europe.
The battle pitted 68,000 Anglo-Dutch-Belgian-German troops under Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington allied with 50,000 Prussians (only two corps of which under Ziethen and Bülow were engaged in the battle) under General Gebhard von Blücher, against 72,000 French troops of decent quality under Napoleon. The French had 250 guns compared to the Allies’ 150. The battle lasted from approximately 11 am to around 8 pm, though the fleeing French troops were chased through the night and, indeed, all the way back to Paris.
“The history of a battle is not unlike the history of a ball,” wrote Wellington, “Some individuals may recollect all the little events of which the great result is the battle won or lost; but no individual can recollect the order in which, or the exact moment at which, they occurred, which makes all the difference as to their value or importance.” Thus the Duke advised an inquiring writer against trying to write a detailed account of Waterloo. Although histories of that famous battle are now innumerable — even during his own lifetime Wellington had come across so many that he remarked “I shall begin to doubt if I was really there myself” — his advice will be heeded here.
Napoleon launched three significant infantry attacks over the course of the day and Wellington’s army repulsed them all; Marshal Ney initiated a series of ill-advised cavalry charges while the British “Heavies” galloped too far but captured two Eagles; Hougoumont was valiantly held while La Haye Sainte was valiantly defended, captured, and then retaken; the French threatened the Allied center while the Prussians threatened the French flank; the British squares stood firm while the Imperial Guard amazingly broke and fled.
It suffices to say, as Wellington did, that Waterloo was “a damned nice thing — the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life.” After being “humbugged” on the 15th of June and nearly losing the battle of overall strategy, Wellington won the battle of tactics.
LITERATURE MEME | 2/9 poems - ”O listen to the sounding sea” by George William Curtis
O listen to the sounding sea
That beats on the remorseless shore,
O listen! for that sound will be
When our wild hearts shall beat no more.
O listen well and listen long!
For sitting folded close to me,
You could not hear a sweeter song
Than the hoarse murmur of the sea.
June 18th 1873: Susan B. Anthony fined
On this day in 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for trying to vote in the 1872 presidential election. Anthony was a famous advocate of women’s rights and female suffrage and co-founded the first Women’s Temperance Movement. She was arrested and eventually fined after trying to vote in the election, despite her argument that she was protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. Anthony used the publicity to raise awareness of women’s rights and traveled the United States and Europe spreading her message of equality.
I love Molly. She’s so ordinary; and yet she’s not a shallow character. I love this moment because Sherlock realizes he’s underestimated her observation skills and just stands there, speechless, outdone by little Molly Hooper; and you can tell from his face that he knows what she just said is true, and he almost looks guilty that he’s been unkind to her. I love how Molly brings out the humanity and compassion in Sherlock.