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James B. Lamb

Toronto, Macmillan, 1988. 192pp, cloth, $19.95
ISBN 0-7715-9208-6. CIP

Grades 9 and up/Ages 14 and up
Reviewed by Constance Hall.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

James Lamb departs from his earlier theme of World War II naval stories to write about England's military involvement against Napoleonic forces between 1809 and 1815.

Born in America and educated in England, De Lancey, who was a professional soldier, provides the narrative focus. A large part of this book concentrates on a detailed description of the strategic manoeuvres culminating in the Battle of Waterloo. Lamb excels in describing the physical setting of the battle, giving the reader a sense of actually being there and seeing the troop formations and hearing the cries of dying men amid the sounds of the guns.

As Wellington's central position was being shelled, De Lancey was badly hurt. He was moved lo Mont St. Jean, a nearby farm, where he was left to die. When, miraculously, he was found alive, Magdalene, his wife, hurried to his side to care for him. The tragic consequences of this battle are described through her eyes: there was little care, shelter or food for the wounded.

Magdalene suffered a nervous breakdown following De Lancey's death. After she regained her health, she was persuaded by her family lo do her duly and remarry, producing two children before she died at the age of twenty-eight.

Just as in The Corvette Navy and On the Triangle Run (Totem Books. 1987), James Lamb brings history alive in this tragic love story. His description of the military encounters, the clashes of men and horses, the dying and the suffering make this book a memorable reading experience for anyone interested in military history.

Constance Hall, Hamilton, Ont.
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