The year when fear of Napoleon stalked the land

As Britain's military fortunes ebbed and flowed in the run-up to Waterloo, the public mood routinely swung from joy to horror and back again. Jenny Uglow tells the story of the year when fear of Napoleon stalked the land...

View of a sham fight on the Serpentine, Hyde Park, London, 1814

This article was first published in the December 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine

A century ago, in August 1914, Britain was plunging into war. But in the same month a hundred years before, the country was rejoicing at the end – as they thought – of the long conflict with France, and the toppling of Napoleon Bonaparte.

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