Eye-witness accounts and memoirs of the Peninsula War by ordinary soldiers who took part in the campaign have deservedly acquired a high reputation for the vivid picture they give us of life in Wellington’s army and their insights into a brutal and merciless war. These two volumes of ‘Peninsular Sketches’ are the cream of the genre. Collected by William Hamilton Maxwell, a colourful and well-regarded Anglo-Irish military historian and writer who may well have served in the Peninsular himself, they are now published in a modern revised edition. Volume One of this smart and conveniently sized re-print includes a lengthy and learned introduction by the modern military historian Stanley Monick, which comprises a biography of Maxwell himself, an outline of the course of the war, as well as well-informed notes and a commentary on the sketches themselves. Both volumes also have full indexes compiled by Dr Monick.
Volume One of the sketches give us raw material from such events as the storming of the fortress of Ciudad Roderigo and the sack of Badajoz as well as the great victory at Salamanca.
Volume Two follows the course of the war from the capture of Madrid, Wellington’s victory at Vittoria and the British army’s passage over the Pyrenees and its final triumphal march to Toulouse.
Long out of print, and a rare collector’s item in the antiquarian book market; these fascinating volumes are now within the price range of every enthusiast of the Peninsular War and Napoleonic warfare generally. For the serious student of the subject these are not to be missed.
PENINSULAR SKETCHES; BY ACTORS ON THE SCENE.
A new, two-volume edition of a classic work of soldier’s sketches from the Peninsular War. Compiled by the colourful historian and veteran W.H. Maxwell, this revised editon includes an informative introduction by the book’s modern editor, Dr Stanley Monick.