This book first appeared with the unweildy title ‘Letters from Portugal, Spain and France during The Memorable Campaigns of 1811,1812, & 1813; and from Belgium and France in the Year 1815. By a British Officer.’ James Hope’s career began in July 1809 as a Volunteer in the 2nd Battalion the 92nd Highland Regiment of Foot, in which he served in the Walcheren expedition to Holland. In September 1811, now an officer, he was sent to Portugal with a draft for the 1st Battalion with instructions he should return to the 2nd Battalion once he had completed his task. The 1st Battalion, however, was short of officers and kept him temporarily; as a result he served for over two years in the Peninsula. He was present at several battles – Arroyo del Molino (Arroyo Molinos) in October 1811 where the French lost some 2,000 to the British 100; Almarez (May 1812), Alba de Torres (Nov 1812), Vittoria (June 1813), the Maya Pass (July 1813) where he was wounded in the head, and finally Nivelle (November 1813). The following month he was at last released from service with the 1st Battalion and went home to rejoin the 2nd Battalion. In 1814 the battalion was disbanded and Hope went back to the 1st Battalion which he accompanied to Flanders in May 1815. He fought at Quatre Bras and Waterloo and both these battles are vividly described, especially the battlefield scenes after Waterloo.Hope’s record is contained in a series of letters to a fellow officer, and as they were written very shortly after the events they describe, they create an immediate impact.There is a lengthy, comprehensive and instructive introduction by Stanley Monick, the editor. As well as discussing the function of letters in the early 19th century, Monick analyse the Peninsular and Waterloo campaigns. Monick has also compiled a useful index, which are usually lacking in the originals and reprints of publications of this nature. A must for Napoleonic specialists.
IBERIAN AND WATERLOO CAMPAIGNS. The Letters of Lt James Hope (92nd (Highland) Regiment) 1811-1815
Annotated and scholarly edition of an officer’s letters from the Peninsular War and the Waterloo campaign. The author served for two years in the 1st Battalion of the 92nd Highland regiment in Spain and fought at Waterloo in the same unit. His text is accompanied by a full and instructive introduction, commentary and index by the editor, Dr Stanley Monick.