Eeek – I’ve been getting the title wrong! We were originally going to call it Eyewitness Waterloo, but there was a last minute change to Waterloo Voices. I’m happy with the change, but have nevertheless continued to think of it as Eyewtiness, hence the error!
Anyway, whatever it’s called the book is due out on 15th May, and here is my last extract.
We said farewell to Gunner John Edwards last time round. Magdalene de Lancey was still tending to her husband, who had been struck by a cannonball during the battle. To the surprise of all who saw it happen, including Wellington, he survived. But despite Magdalene’s tender care the signs were not looking good and I’m sure that in her heart of hearts she knew the end was near.
After I had brought everything the surgeons wanted, I went into another room. I could not bear to see him suffering. Mr Powell saw a change in his countenance; he looked out, and desired Emma to call me, to tell me instantly Sir William wanted me. I hastened to him, reproaching myself for having been absent a moment. I stood near my husband, and he looked up at me and said, ‘Magdalene, my love, the spirits.’ I stooped down close to him and held the bottle of lavender to him: I also sprinkled some near him. He looked pleased. He gave a little gulp, as if something was in his throat. The doctor said, ‘Ah, poor De Lancey! He is gone.’ I pressed my lips to his, and left the room…
I left Waterloo with feelings so different from those I had on going to it. Then all was anxious terror that I would not be there in time to see one look, or to hear one word. Now there was nothing imaginary—all was real misery. There now remained not even a chance of happiness, but what depended on the retrospect of better days and duties fulfilled… At eleven o’clock that same day, I set out for England. That day, three months before, I was married.