There is probably no character of the nineteenth century which stands out with more distinctness in English history, or is invested with greater fascination, than that of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington.
Notwithstanding the fact that he long outlived the period of his military achievements, and in the field of politics actually excited popular hostility, so strong is his hold upon the national imagination that, nearly two centuries after the close of his military career, the glory of his hundred fights still fascinates and shines with a lustre that time can never tarnish. The Iron Duke is a member of the chosen few, of this tigh nitted club of : The Invincible Generals !
When Sir Arthur Wellesley set foot ashore in Portsmouth in 1805, he was but a relatively unknown junior officer with just an Indian career, a solid military common sense and the reputation of a Sepoy General. But for the Duke of Yorks maligned Flanders Campaign 1793-94, he never had faced a valorous European enemy, having fought native Indian armies only, sometimes officered by European mercenaries or French military advisors, but very often not!
When Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France abdicated for the first time in April 1814, the Sepoy General had become an icon of war, a warlord of European reputation, an invincible general, the Conqueror of the Conqueror of the World and a political prime actor on the European scene.
This book is no remake of Sir Charles Omans 8 volumes on The Peninsular War or a Jac Wellers Wellington in the Peninsula revisited, it is a historical novel giving the future Duke of Wellington a personality and character beyond that of the Iron Duke, the invincible British weapon of war, void of all humanity and liveliness.
The author, after serious and in-depth studies of the military history of the Napoleonic Wars and the Duke of Wellingtons own writings in his Dispatches and Supplementary Dispatches has tried to recreate the atmosphere of a great human adventure and the influence, this adventure must have had upon a young, courageous , perhaps ambitious but most certainly lively and profoundly human officer, propelled into the most exciting epic of the XIX. Century : The War against Napoleon Bonaparte and Revolutionary France.
Besides Wellington, the reader will meet historic persons, such as the brilliant, but hot-headed Black Bob Craufurd, Commander of the Light Brigade or Sir Thomas Picton, the Welsh General, whos exentric personality and stubbornness sometimes caused real problems to his superior, but whos fighting skills and courage made him one of the authors favorites. Other characters are mere fiction: Lady Sarah Lennox never existed, but there has been a military surgeon in the Peninsula - Dr.James Barry - who was discovered a woman after an autopsy following his death, long after the glorious days of Waterloo. Jamie Dullmore and Rob Seward are also creatures of imagination and so is Arthurs faithful servant John Dunn, but nevertheless such men have fought together with the Great Duke and he must have appreciated them, as he appreciated all his valiant French enemies: Ney, Soult, Massena, Victor and last but not least - the Emperor!
Apart from Sir Arthurs own 33.Infantry, the reader will never find a regiment on its wrong place on the authors personal fighting ground and he can rely upon weaponry, strategy and tactics as well as on the description of the Redcoats and officers day to day life. All the rest is fiction, written for pleasure and in the hope, that the reader will enjoy this Peninsula Campaign as much, as I did.
Both novels ( each about 900 pages) are ready to publish:
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