First published in 1808 under the editorship of Sir Walter Scott, at the height of another war with France, this is a vivid account of one of the campaigns in the great War of the Spanish Succession that convulsed Europe at the beginning of the 18th century, and saw the great triumphs of the Duke of Marlborough. The author, Captain George Carleton, was serving under another commander – Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough – whose achievements in Spain and Flanders have been somewhat overshadowed by Marlborough’s victories. The book describes how Carleton was one of the handful of men who took the great city of Barcelona and subsequently expelled the Duke of Anjou’s French army, 25,000 strong, from Spain with a force of only half that number. Sadly, home politics negated Peterborough’s victory, as the great writer Jonathan Swift explained in his famous pamphlet ‘The Conduct of the Allies’ : “ The only General who, by a course of conduct and fortune almost miraculous, had nearly put us into possession of the kingdom of Spain, was left wholly unsupported, exposed to the envy of his rivals, disappointed by the caprices of a young inexperienced Prince (Charles of Austria, the Allied candidate for the Spanish throne) under the guidance of a rapacious German ministry, and (was) at last called home in discontent”. This book is an unusual and eye-opening account of a victorious campaign whose fruits were thrown away.
MEMOIRS OF CAPT. GEORGE CARLETON, An English Officer; Including Anecdotes of the War in Spain Under The Earl of Peterborough (War of the Spanish Succession )1701—1714
A lively account of campaigning in Flanders and Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession. The author was for some years a prisoner of war in Spain, and makes some colourful observations on the country and its people. This edition was originally edited by Sir Walter Scott.