Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, with a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that

Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmas Prize Quiz

While sorting out my bookshelves, I find that I have two good copies of HT Siborne's "Waterloo Letters", so I thought it would be amusing to offer one as a prize in an appropriately off-beat quiz, just for Christmas. Well - actually it's just to get rid of the extra copy, but it might still be amusing.

The book is a collection of 200 of the letters which were sent to William Siborne in the 1830s when he was gathering data to build his ill-fated model of the Battle of Waterloo. The collection was originally published by his son in 1891 - this is the 1993 edition published by Greenhill books. It is in nice, clean condition. The dustjacket is a bit faded, and is what one of my sons used to term "scrunkled" slightly at the ends of the spine, and there is a little general shelf-wear, but the book is tight and firm and doesn't smell.

If you fancy it, all you have to do is have a look at the photo below and answer some questions. If you don't know the answers, have a guess.

(1) What is this? (up to 5 points available for this)

(2) Where is it, exactly? (give an actual location - up to 10 points available, depending how far your answer is in a straight line from the real place)

(3) How do you know, or how did you work it out? Also, do you have any thoughts about this? (up to 10 points for this section, with originality, ingenuity and humour scoring high)

You can comment here (tell me if you don't want it published!) or (probably better) email me through my Blogger profile. I'll keep this open until Christmas Eve (24th December), and publish the exciting results shortly afterwards. When I have a winner, I'll arrange to get a postal address to send the prize.

All you detectives will want to know that I took the photo at around 11 in the morning, on 21st July 2008, in the northern hemisphere.


  1. Hmmm? I haven't a clue, but I'll try my damnedest to find out!!!

  2. Good man, Ray. I've had a couple of responses giving answers, so I won't publish those at present (since they might give others ideas - duh!).

    I will mention, however, that it is not Martin J's Uncle George enjoying the air at Scarborough, whatever he says, so the rest of Martin's answer is going to have to be very creative indeed to score many points.

    Cheers - Tony

  3. It's also been pointed out that this is my 400th Post on this blog. All I can say is....


  4. Well, looks like a bronze statue on vacation or a clever photoshop of a tarnished green.

    Luckily I'm trying to trim my bookshelves and Napoleonics isn't my elected area. I presume you have Hofschroer's Wellington's Smallest Victory: The Duke, the Model Maker and the Secret of Waterloo? If not would you like one?

    1. Can't fault your analysis - maybe a bit unspecific.

      Very kind offer of the PH book - thank you, but in fact I do have it. This morning I thought I'd check that I could find it, if only to reassure myself that I have at least a slight grip on my library, and I had some problems. Eventually it turned up in Bookcase 4b, which is the hands-&-knees under the stairs job, which indicates that it is a bit marginal in my collection too. Books in 4b tend to be smallish and not to fit well into mainstream categories - there's a fair amount of music theory in there, Italian dictionaries, stuff like that.

      I published your comment because I believe it is not a serious entry. I also understand that you could have solved it if you had been interested in the prize! Thanks again, Ross - have a good Christmas.

  5. I'm with Ray - no idea who/where but I'm intrigued.... time to practice my Google-fu... [cracks fingers]

  6. Still no clue I'm afraid, google's let me down this time :0( I'm afraid I shall not, be looking forward to reading the book!

    1. I'm sure Tony won't mind me saying, but there's a very small clue in the style of that house in the background.... :o)))