Captain William Siborne (1797-1849) is well known for his models of Waterloo and his book on the campaign.


This article sets out to describe the various editions of Siborne's book. There are many of them, from the original editions, to many other re-prints of the 20th and 21st century.


We will show you the differences in the editions, so that you may make an informed decision of which edition to purchase or study.


It has been said that since his book was first published in 1843 it has been in print in one form or another till the present day.


Aside from his two Waterloo models, not much was known about him until Peter Hofschroer published his interesting book Wellington's Smallest Victory in 2004.


Wellington's Smallest Victory describes how Siborne was commisioned to make the first model, and how he conducted the research for it.


Sadly, Siborne did not reap any rewards from his model and to assist himself financially he decided to write a detailed book on the campaign based on his research.





Captain William Siborne


Alas for poor Siborne his book did not make him the riches he deserved, due to behind the scenes pressure from Wellington himself, and the publication of other cheaper books.


This story is well covered in all its saddest details in Hofschroer's book, which is readily available via the internet.



The first four editons

These were all published by TW Boone of London with prefaces by Siborne himself.


There are some important differences in these editions which I shall describe here*.


The later re-prints

These were published by many British and American publishing houses.


They are all reprints of one or other of the original four editions. Some* are mere facsimilies and others* have been fully re-type set.


Sadly I would assume that Siborne's descendants have not recieved any financial rewards from them.


Some editions are available as PDF files for free download from the internet, but the quality of these is variable


En avant

by Digby Green 2017