Thursday, October 01, 2015

Waterloo


Peter Snow launching into battle
Click any image for a larger version

This is the second event in this years Dublin Festival of History that I've attended. More high quality stuff. This time in the Edmund Burke theatre in TCD.

People will know Peter Snow from his appearances on ITV and then BBC over the years. It may not be quite so widely known that he is a war historian and has produced a number of books and programmes on this subject in recent years. Waterloo is a joint production with his son Dan.

He was on his own in TCD last evening to take us graphically through the battle of Waterloo.


Two worthy adversaries

While the two main protagonists, Wellington and Napoleon, are well known, Peter took us through some of the lesser known leaders, not all of whom were up to scratch.

As he warmed to his subject the pitch rose and the battle flowed one way and then another. The excitement mounted to such a stage that you were inclined to forget your history and wonder who was going to win this very closely fought contest.

The message at the end was that Napoleon, tired and ill, lost it rather than Wellington winning it.


Your country needs you

The Q&A afterwards was quite engrossing and Peter showed he had clearly mastered his subject. I got a fright when I saw him pointing straight at me, Kitchener style, and wondered for a second, if I was being chosen to be part of the blood and gore he had just outlined so graphically. Fortunately he was pointing at someone beside me who had their hand up with a question.


When is a farm not a farm?

Then there was the fella in the audience who questioned Peter's description of a building as a farmhouse. It was nothing of the sort, the fella said, it was actually a fortress, he had been there and actually seen it.

Well, it appears Peter had also been there and he demolished the fortress bit without too much effort.

Full marks to Dublin City Council and their collaborators for staging this excellent festival.

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