Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Sunday, 26 October 2014

A Horror a Day keeps the Horrors Away -- 2

Smolenskthe Second Time  has to be one of my favourite stories because it took so long to write. Does that seem odd? It won’t if you are a writer. The more involved you becoame the better the story, the better the poem, the better the writing.

This story stemmed from an interest in history and from a statisticalmap by Joseph Minard. I have always loved maps and history but I was just terrible at Geography and History when I was at school -- it wasn’t a lack of interest but of aptitude.This is one of the earliest statistical diagrams ever made and it is simply wonderful so do please take time to study it.

All I really knew about 1812 was Tchaikovski's overture (I do adore Tchaikovski!) but I began reading around this not because I liked Napoleon – quite the opposite. My interest was in La Grande Armee itself. Almost 600,000 men! Who were they? Where did they come from? What did they wear? How were they fed? 
Napoleon typically managed to get his boney ass back to Paris of course but apparently only an estimated 10 to 40 thousand of his army crossed the Niemen River in the end. What happened to the rest? The more I read the more horrified I became and at last I knew, if I did nothing else, I had to give one of these poor souls a VOICE and that is how the story came about. I hope you will read this story now not only as a horror but with a degree of sadness for those (on both sides) who were caught in this terrible history.

And I really recommend this link Destruction of La Grande Armee if you want to read more of their history.

My reading also spawned a sister story The Boneparte Tree which you may also enjoy. There you go 2 for1 today :)

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