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Wellington: with brief battles.
on 25 September 2013
A good Biography but abbreviated in strange places for Richard Holmes.
The details of Wellington's personal, political and army life as well as the campaigns are well covered, but I found the writing tone a little pompous (perhaps allowable for the Duke?). His Stoic character combined with his reluctance to accept advice and on occasions even to listen to evidence was well brought out. Unfortunately apart from the battle of Waterloo which was reasonably dealt with, the coverage of his battles, in India and the Iberian penninsula, were far too brief. This was not helped by the maps (paperback UK version) being very small and situated quite a way from the text. Also many of the battle descriptions were 'enhanced' by odd exhortations (may be real or legendary)of leaders or troops. For example: in the battle of Vitoria, only about 650 words for the battle and its effect,one of his commanders Picton is quoted 'Come on ye rascals! Come on ye fighting villains!' for no apparent reason. Perhaps it is supposed to generate atmosphere but no attempt is made to link it to the troops behaviour.
I enjoyed the book but felt it should have been 50-100 pages longer to better cover the battles .