For this blog I'm focusing on a telling sentence that once again shows we who are fascinated by a beautiful woman in fabulous military costume are not just pandering to flights of testosterone driven fantasy!
Edward Cotton, apart from being a participant during the battle in a British hussar regiment, spent much of his later life as a "tour guide" to the battlefield and his "Voice from Waterloo", although often a rather jingoistic and colourful account, is laced with an air of authenticity due to his anecdotes from veterans whom he met there. It is a recommended read by me for its terrific atmosphere and detail if not necessarily for its coherency of narrative.
Here is the relevant paragraph at 22% of the way through the book (who needs page numbers when you can change the font size? :-) ) The action bit is above La Haye Sainte probably about 2pm.
Readers may recall my previous account of a-real-hussarette and like that one this too poses questions which can't be answered. Was it her own uniform, or borrowed? What did it look like? Why was she in the army at all in 1815 and particularly taking part in a charge so near the English line that she got shot. For those not familiar here are some pictures relating to the Hanoverian monument taken on my trip in June.
|The Hanoverian monument itself|
|The view looking due West from the monument towards the Lion Mound - |
effectively along the British crest line just in front of the "elm tree crossroads"
|From the monument it is a very short distance to La Haye Sainte|
All my studies aimed at recreating the 300 metres round LHS on the tabletop next year do not show any French Hussar Regiments in this vicinity. So I conclude she was either an aide/mistress of a senior French officer (see for example my original post about Madame Leberton lady-hussars-anyone), or merely a field wife who borrowed any uniform to join the ranks because she could not bear the thought of her (possibly cuirassier) husband dying and leaving her alone. There is a risk of letting it get to you as it sort of sums up the Napoleonic cause on that fateful day - immense bravery in the face of incredibly difficult odds. Despite all the busy traffic a visit to Waterloo can be very emotive.
Any comments very welcome.