December 17 1815: Naming Waterloo


I have written 200 lines of my poem,  – it grows under my hands & will very probably extend to 1000. The notes will extend it to a little volume, & it is likely to do me credit. I call it La Belle Alliance because (between ourselves) the name of Waterloo was given to the battle by the Duke of Wellington in a spirit of the lowest & vilest jealousy, – of which when we meet you shall have damning proofs. Waterloo is three miles from the nearest point of action, & the battle might as well have been called the battle of St Helens Auckland.

 — Robert Southey writes to his brother to Thomas Southey on December 17 1815.

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