A Model Victory

Malcolm Balen

There were fifty thousand casualties on the single bloody day of the Battle of Waterloo: killing on the scale of the First World War. In this electrifying account, Malcolm Balen combines extraordinary first-hand accounts of the battle with the story of William Siborne, an officer who wanted to capture the moment of victory by making the perfect model. Siborne gathered together eyewitness accounts that read as if the battle was fought yesterday. But his quest for truth came up against the might of the British establishment. Who had won the day? Was it Wellington’s forces or Blucher’s Prussians? Malcolm Balen tells how two battles of Waterloo were fought – for Europe’s future, and for the control of history.

Reviews of A Model Victory

  • Praise for ‘A Model Victory’:

    ‘Malcolm Balen’s lucid take on what might have been a footnote to the historiography of the battle, but in his skilled hands becomes a compelling meditation on the true nature of war, and the vitally important question of who writes the histories of war. Balen’s clear-eyed and sympathetic telling of Siborne’s sad story, as the model-maker moves from defiance to eventual capitulation to his powerful patrons, is itself a model of historical writing.’ Nigel Jones, Literary Review

    Praise for ‘A Very English Deceit’:

    ‘As successive corporate accounting scandals surface in America, and global share prices again tumble, Balen reminds us that the murky tale of the first Bubble still stands as a cautionary tale for our time.’ Lisa Jardine, Sunday Times

    ‘They are rattling good yarns, and Balen spins them with all the mastery of the seasoned news man that he is.’ Peter Jay, Guardian