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The Subaltern: a Chronicle of the Peninsular War. Paperback – 1 Jan 1828


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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Book on Demand (1 Jan. 1828)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0068IY3W4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description

This book, "The Subaltern: a Chronicle of the Peninsular War.", by Gleig George Robert, is a replication of a book originally published before 1828. It has been restored by human beings, page by page, so that you may enjoy it in a form as close to the original as possible. This book was created using print-on-demand technology. Thank you for supporting classic literature.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sean on 3 Aug. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Sir Charles Oman (1860-1946), the great historian of the Peninsular War, called George Robert Gleig's account 'charming...pleasant' and 'life-like'. Gleig avoids 'second hand stories'; his are 'statements of fact' which `may be relied on' (Wellington's Army). Written in 1825, only ten years after Waterloo, the Subaltern is one of the superior memoirs of the Peninsular War. Seventeen year old Lieutenant Gleig only landed during the tail-end of the conflict, precisely during the siege of San Sebastian (1813), but his account of these often overlooked few months of bloody fighting is breathtaking. He is a vital source for understanding Wellington's invasion of France which included the crossing of the Bidasoa, the Battles Nivelle and Nive and the investment of Bayonne.

His style is semi-literary though still vivid. San Sebastian (after the sack) represented a 'chilling sense of the horrible points of our profession'; Wellington and Soult are described as `two mighty gamesters' during the Battle of the Nive. He is also somewhat philosophical in nature. He declines to delve into lengthy national stereotypes of the Spanish and Portuguese allies for example like so many Peninsular writers. He does place his account in context but as he wrote his work before Napier, the first great historian of the war, he avoids repeating ad verbatim large chunks of narrative featuring actions he was not present at. His style is perfectly honest; frequently deprecating his limitations to the reader at conveying events.

Gleig is particularly valuable for understanding how the British and French fought on a battalion basis.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tant p on 23 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This description of a short part of the Peninsular War is very well written and not at all out dated in style. The writer does not try to understand the overall strategy of the war but gives a detailed and enthralling account of his part in it. During which he travelled barely 200 kilometers from Northern Spain over the border into France. From the autumn of one year to the spring of the next. It gives an insight into the thinking of Junior Officers in Wellington's army and what they considered important.
A very worthwhile read however serious you are about history.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J P Gillespie on 18 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very readable considering it was written over a century and a half ago. Some place names and actions have changed over the years, making the editor earn his pay :-)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. PM Coxall on 24 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Napoleonic wars have always intrigued me, particularly the various Peninsular campaigns.

The book is surprisingly easy to read, especially considering how long ago it was written. The horrors of 19th Century warfare are not glossed over by the author.

I would like to read some more military books written in the same period.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very interesting and easy reading once one is accustomed to his Jane Austen style prose (After all they were contemporaries), So much of what he says of the latter stages of the Peninsular War could be equally applied to some of my own experiences in WW2
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By wamm on 12 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very detailed and one can only suppose that he kept extensive notes. Admittedly a lot of time was spent encamped, fishing, shooting and acting as a tour guide, such is the nature of most wars. Readable non the less
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