Waterloo in the Curzon Collection

The Bodleian’s Curzon Collection includes a large number of political prints, both British and Continental, from the period of the Napoleonic wars and on the subject of the history and destiny of Napoleon I. Among these are both British and French cartoons depicting Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo.

Many of these items are available to view online at digital.bodleian.ox.ac.uk as part of the collection, Political Prints from the Curzon Collection.

Le Cesar de 1815. Bodleian Curzon b.32(23). Napoleon leaves behind the dead of Waterloo. La Haye Sainte is visible at the right-hand side.

Le César de 1815. Bodleian Curzon b.32(23). Napoleon leaves behind the dead of Waterloo. La Haye Sainte is visible at the right-hand side.

George Nathaniel Curzon (1859-1925), chancellor of the University of Oxford from 1907 to 1925, bequeathed his collection of Napoleoneana to the Bodleian Library. The books and printed cartoons form one part of this collection.

Most of the prints were bought by Curzon in bound volumes from the estate of the lawyer and journalist Alexander Meyrick Broadley (1847-1916), author of Napoleon in caricature (1911) who compiled extra-illustrated copies of his own work as well as J. Holland Rose’s Life of Napoleon I (1902), the Earl of Rosebery’s Napoleon: the last phase (1900), and Guillaume Craan’s Notice historique sur la bataille de Waterloo (the English translation, 1817).

Tricolour cockade. Bodleian Library, Curzon b.33(144)

Tricolour cockade. Bodleian Library, Curzon b.33(144). Image credit, Bodleian Libraries

The historical works are extra-illustrated with autograph letters and tokens including a tricolour cockade, which is described in the blog, The Last Stand: Napoleon’s 100 days in 100 objects.

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