2015 will be a year of important historical anniversaries. First, Anzac Day next year will mark exactly 100 years since the landing at Gallipoli. The First World War featured in theNovember edition of Horizons last year, and here is a piece that IPA executive director John Roskam wrote about the significance of Anzac Day and Gallipoli from 2007.
Second, according to tradition, 15 June next year will mark exactly 800 years since King John of England set his seal to Magna Carta – a document that later became foundational to the rule of law and parliamentary democracy. This was the feature of the August edition of Horizons.
And third, 18 June next year will mark exactly 200 years since the Waterloo – the decisive and bloody battle which ended the Napoleonic Wars and opened up Europe to almost a century of relative peace.
In the November edition of Standpoint Magazine, historian Andrew Roberts speculated that Waterloo is probably ‘the world’s most famous battle’ and revises two of the best books that have been recently published to commemorate the anniversary.
Andrew Roberts was the keynote speaker at the IPA’s 2011 Foundations of Western Civilisation Symposium. You can view the keynote address here.
The first book in his review is Waterloo: Myth and Reality by historian of the Napoleonic Wars Gareth Glover, which is available on Amazon here. It reassesses various myths that have evolved about the battle over the last two centuries.
The second is The Longest Afternoon: The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo by Cambridge historian Brendan Simms, who specialises in international relations. This book, which is available here, is about La Haye Saint – a farmhouse that was at the centre of the battle.
For more on Waterloo, here is a timeline of the events that led up to Waterloo, and here is a page that lists some of the preparations that are being made to celebrate the bicentenary in Europe.
This article was originally published by The Foundations of Western Civilisation Program, an IPA initiative.