Volume 129, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



The bicentennial celebrations in 2015 of the Battle of Waterloo have rekindled public interest in the history and heritage of this historical event. The commemoration also led to a massive increase in publications. Many of these are based on new sources (ego-documents, archaeological finds, and archival sources) discovered in the last decades. These new sources have allowed historians to move away from official accounts and towards a view from below. This approach has added significantly to our understanding of the battle, but in some cases the new sources have caused confusion and led to new historiographical controversies, both on a national and transnational level. At the same time historians in and outside academia are moving beyond national histories of the battle to more balanced and transnational accounts. Recent interest in heritage and memory has resulted in new research on the appropriation of Waterloo by various interested parties. At the same time it is to be regretted that academic historians almost exclusively focus on heritage and memory and have been neglecting the story of the battle. As a result they have been largely absent during the commemorations. Public interest in Waterloo has been mostly served by popular historical publications and re-enactment events.


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  • Article Type: Discussion
Keyword(s): heritage and memory; historiography; re-enactment; Waterloo
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