Book Review: Caveat emptor


From Corunna to Waterloo: With the Hussars 1808 to 1815 by John Mollo


Ever been conned and realised you have only yourself to blame? Welcome to the club.

When this book came out I was quite excited because John Mollo is an excellent writer and I’d enjoyed his earlier hussar treatise, The Prince’s Dolls. Warning bells rang, however, when I read that its dedication was to the same individual. But it’s not so unusual, frankly, and try as I might I couldn’t find indications anywhere to refute the assertion this was anything other than a new book about British Napoleonic Hussars. Assumptions, assumptions.

Because it’s not. It’s an unabridged re-print of The Princes Dolls. Identical text, illustrations and maps. Not even the ghost of a subtitle to advise the reader it was ‘Previously Published as…’ Now I realise a number of out-of-print period histories have been re-published under different titles, but these are generally hard to find individual diaries and I’m always very careful buying those. But this is a book first issued only in 1997.

So why would Pen & Sword, who published the original, bring out this new version under almost the same title as the also very good From Corunna to Waterloo by Gareth Glover, the story of two officers of the 15th Hussars?

I suspect it’s the 2015 Anniversary thing. Ergo, money. Not really on, though, is it?

Eh? The review? Oh – well if you’ve never read Prince’s Dolls I recommend the book wholeheartedly. 5 stars. More, probably.

But if you’ve already got the original you’ll just be wasting your money, as I did.

As for P&S, I’m almost so angry I could throw the phone down… 😉

~ by cavalrytales on July 12, 2014.

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