The events of Sunday, 18 June, stand as the defining moment of the year 1815, if not of an entire era. The allied victory over Napoleon's French army at the Battle of Waterloo reshaped governments and boundaries, made or broke fortunes and touched thousands of lives in ways both large and small, and it has been analysed, dissected and refought on paper a hundred times. Perhaps, though, the very best words ever written about that momentous campaign are the first-person accounts recorded as events unfolded. It is these vivid accounts that Kristine Hughes has collected together in order to convey the hopes, fears and aspirations of their authors. They inject the story of the battle with a level of humanity that reclaims it from the realm of legend and restores it to the people who witnessed it. In chronological order her work pieces together a novel view of the battle and events surrounding it as they were experienced by both military men and civilians. The result is a fascinating and varied picture of the individuals involved and the society of the period. Their words make compelling reading.