Narrative of the Peninsular War, from 1808 to 1813 . . . Third edition, with an appendix of correspondence.

London, Henry Colburn, 1829.

Two volumes, pp. xvi, 519; viii, 324; with a large folding hand-coloured map (bound in upside-down), six folding plans and 20 folding tables; some foxing of folding plans, but a very good copy in mid-nineteenth-century red morocco-backed boards, spines gilt; minor wear and a few marks, spines slightly faded; from the library of Ian Robertson (1928–2020).


US $1059€1080

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First octavo edition, with an appendix which appears here for the first time: ‘Since the publication of the first edition of this narrative, the author has received communications from some of his brother officers; and he deems it but justice to them to give these letters, with his answers, to the public, in this appendix’ (vol. II p. [273]). The work first appeared the previous year in quarto format.

‘Lord Londonderry’s modest two volumes, the first attempt at a general history of the Peninsular War, give far more useful information on the all-important topics of strengths and losses then all [John] Gurwood’s tomes. For that sensible author rightly saw that nothing could be more serviceable to the reader than an occasional table of the organization and numbers of the whole allied army, and that the detailed casualty-list of such a fight as Talavera or Albuera is indispensable . . . . Wherever [he] had not been present, he passes lightly over the episodes of war, and obviously had taken no very great pains to collect first-hand material. At the same time the book has value, as giving the views of a highly-placed staff officer, who had the opportunity of seeing every episode from the point of view of Head Quarters, and had strong convictions and theories of his own. He had also the saving grace of loving statistics, and printed many valuable appendices of “morning states” and casualty-lists, things of which Napier was far too sparing, and which Gurwood suppressed altogether’ (Charles Oman, Wellington’s army 1809–1814 pp. 12, 19).

Palau 351588. Alberich 878 records the first edition.

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