I will take Robinson at his word that there’s been no single work focused exclusively on the battle of Quatre Bras before in English. It seems unlikely that there’s nothing, but with the long shadow of Waterloo, it’s all too possible.

However, I was also surprised, and skeptical, when he said that his look through French sources did not turn up anything of help in writing the book. Having read it, I now wonder just what he was looking for.

Overall, this is an account of the battle using as many low-level primary sources as possible. I assume that Robinson’s trouble revolves around a lack of Frenchmen who survived the campaign, and desired to talk about it in writing. I would still think there’d be something, but perhaps not nearly enough to assemble a narrative from the French side.

What this means is that it is a very lopsided book. To Robinson’s credit, he does draw in a lot of sources from allied contingents, so this is not presented as just a an English show. However, everything is told from the British point of view. French forces are encountered the same way Wellington’s army did, as masses of men moving around, firing, charging, seriously challenging the allied army’s hold on the field, but no unit names or other specifics are given. What is actually going on in the battle is lost. Bédoyère’s conflicting orders aren’t even alluded to.

I found following the action very rough going in this book. I think it’s partly because the one-sided nature of the book, which aids a jumbled narrative. It got a lot of—limited—detail, and worth studying for anyone wanting to dive deep into the battle. But there is still yet to be a good one-book study of the battle as a battle.