One title on the list:
The Charterhouse of Parma, by StendhalRead about another book on the list.
Stendhal pitches his naive hero Fabrice del Dongo into the Battle of Waterloo. He finds himself surrounded by mud, smoke and the cries of dying men, and is delighted. "'I have seen shots fired!' he repeated with a sense of satisfaction. 'Now I am a real soldier.'" Stendhal does great justice to the confusion and occasional farce of warfare; his soldiers even use obscene language.
La Chartreuse de Parme is one of Claire Tomalin's five most important books.