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A Week at Waterloo

By | Jan. 2011
Page 1 of 4
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One Woman’s Story of War, Loss & Love|
Magdalene De Lancey: A Week at Waterloo|
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lwilsonide|
7/20/2010|
History 112 - OLA: Western Civilization II

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Magdalene Hall and William De Lancey had a fast tracked romance and remained married for three months prior to the devastating battle of Waterloo. The marriage was mutually beneficial, both socially & financially, for both sides; as was common in marriages of its time. The existence of true love is present throughout the narrative. The prevalence of true love was not a common aspect in 19th century marriages when at times marriage was a mere necessity. The couples honeymoon was cut short by international events and the Colonel’s newest assignment.

Magdalene proved to be a strong & brave woman by following her husband on his campaign against Napoleon in the Austrian Netherlands. It was not unheard of for women to follow their husbands and lovers to, and beyond death. Colonel William was critically wounded when he was struck with a ricocheting cannon ball in the back. Magdalene proved not to be a burden, but a god sent when she refused to leave her husband’s side, nursing him, after she found him mortally wounded on the near the battlefield during Waterloo. It was during this time, of tending to her husband, that she wrote a journal that later became the narrative; “A Week at Waterloo.” Her experience, full of honesty & attractive details, during this week of turmoil comes across clearly throughout her narrative.

During the three weeks between their arrival in Brussels and the French Army advancing on Brussels, the newlyweds were able to find time for one another, go for walks in the park and to enjoy being in love. They spent their time together not visiting or going to balls as they did not know how long they had before they would be separated. She describes her feelings in the following passage; “Fortunately my husband had scarcely any business to do,...
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