The 18th of June 2015 will be the anniversary of the Battle of waterloo. Gerry Embleton has been commissioned by John Franklin to illustrate a series of books that John researched and compiled from an extraordinary collection of letters written by survivors of the battle, many translated and published for the first time. The writers are drawn from all of the nations involved and they change completely our view of the battle. all of the published letters and many more are available on John Franklin’s ever growing online archiveĀ http://www.battleofwaterloo.net

Gerry Embleton explains: “I first met John Franklin some years ago and was immediately impressed by the depth of his research. He digs deeper into archives and translates or has translated original documents. He checks and double checks facts and follows clues like a detective to build a picture of what was going on behind the published official documents. Waterloo is a misunderstood battle buried in myth and legend. Countless authors have used and reused the same sources, often of dubious quality and political bias, and some are still doing so. John’s research shines a new light on what was done – and thought – at the time. I was given access to his research material and an almost free hand to draw lesser known incidents based on the letters to compliment the color plates I’ve been painting for his books. I tried to be realistic and to show how the participants’ way have looked. Thousands of men and some women had been camping out all night long in pouring rain, many had been marching and fighting all the day before and had almost no shelter and little food. They did their best to scrape the caked mud from their uniforms and fought and marched all day long on the 18th. They fired musket volleys and artillery into each other often at point blank range and fought hand to hand over the bodies of their comrades. An illustrator can’t really come close to capturing the reality of a situation like that but I’ve at least tried to forget the jingoistic romantic nonsense created in the 19th century and sadly still with us.”

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