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1815 was the year of Waterloo, the British victory that ended Napoleon's European ambitions and ushered in a century largely of peace for Britain. But what sort of country were Wellington's troops fighting for? And what kind of society did they return to? Stephen Bates paints a vivid portrait of every aspect of Britain in 1815. Overseas, the bounds of Empire were expanding; while at home the population endured the chill of economic recession. As Jane Austen busied herself with the writing of Emma, John Nash designed Regent Street, Humphrey Davy patented his safety lamp for miners and Lord's cricket ground held its first match in St John's Wood, and a nervous government infiltrated dissident political movements and resorted to repressive legislation to curb free speech. The Year In series gets to the heart of social and cultural life in the UK at key points in its history.