Friday, December 26, 2008

Good reading ahead!

Click image to enlarge,
(but buying a copy of the book will be more rewarding!

Good news for me on the War of the Austrian Succession front! At long-last I received my copy of Denis Gandilhon's Fontenoy- France Dominating Europe. And what a book it is! Well worth the wait.

Now, I cannot yet attest as to how accurate it is historically (I've only just received it today, after all), but as for first impressions- wow!

Part of the French Histoire & Collections "Men and Battles" series, this book is very much after the model of the familiar Osprey books. Although books like this tend to meet a lot of scepticism these days for a tendency toward inaccuracy or "fluff", they can still certainly inspire, and if you know little or nothing about the Battle of Fontenoy, you could do a lot worse than start here.

One thing I did notice immediately, though, was that the French infantry were shown in coloured waistcoats. While certainly the case in the Seven Years War, in the 1740's most (but not all) French regiments had plain waistcoats the same colour of the justeaucorps. This will not be the only book which has made that same mistake.

Regardless, this book certainly left me wanting to get hold of some more 18th C. miniatures! Eye-candy galore, with 82 pages of text including an order of battle. Each page is illustrated in full colour with maps and pictures. Some are familiar, but many are new to me, including some wonderful shots of re-enactors (Les Soldats du bien-Aimé; you can note the very pale grey- almost white- shade of the French justeau-corps!). Most exciting for me so far are the colour uniform plates, including Dutch infantry and cavalry, although I'd probably double-check my sources before using them as a painting guide.


The other good news is that John Wright was kind enough to send me phots from his trip to the old battlefield of Lauffeldt in Belgium. Great to see them, and I'll be sorting through them and posting the best ones here in the next few days.

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