Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £5.24

Save £5.75 (52%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Wellington: The Iron Duke (Text Only) by [Holmes, Richard]
Kindle App Ad

Wellington: The Iron Duke (Text Only) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£5.24

Kindle Books from 99p
Load up your Kindle library before your next holiday -- browse over 500 Kindle Books on sale from 99p until 31 August, 2016. Shop now

Product Description

Amazon Review

We associate Wellington so much with the battle of Waterloo that it's easy to forget that, before the battle, he had had a long military career already and that, after it, he had an even longer career as politician, prime minister and pillar of the establishment. Richard Holmes's admirably clear and succinct biography of the Duke has a chapter on his youth as a slightly awkward loner from the Anglo-Irish nobility and a concluding chapter which races swiftly through the 37 years of his post-Waterloo life. However the bulk of the book, unsurprisingly, is given over to a description and analysis of his military exploits.

As viewers of his TV series and readers of his previous books will know, Holmes is a brilliant interpreter of battlefields and what took place on them. He has visited most of the sites of Wellington's battles, not only those in Europe but those in India where the young Arthur Wellesley, as he then was, gained his first experiences as a general. (Wellington himself, in later life, claimed that his finest military achievement was not Waterloo but the winning of the Battle of Assaye during the Maratha Wars in 1803.) He uses his knowledge of the battle sites and his familiarity with all the extensive literature on the Peninsular War and Waterloo to produce a vivid account of Wellington's string of successes as a general. As the quotes in this book from his writings and despatches show, Wellington had a gift for the striking phrase and for concise description of complicated events. It's a gift his biographer shares and Holmes has produced a very readable and enjoyable book. --Nick Rennison

Review

An astute historical analysis and a hugely readable informative narrative about Wellington's life from a shy, indolent boy to commander in chief of the allied forces that defeated Napoleon. The Iron Duke is shown to be idealistic in politics, cynical in love, a wit and a man of enormous courage often sickened by war.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 895 KB
  • Print Length: 349 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPress; New Ed edition (28 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008CB9DXY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,114 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 12 Jan. 2006
Format: Paperback
This book definately deserves 5 stars in my opinion, but only if we take it for what it is; a good general history of the man and his life.
A comparison in thickness with Elizabeth Longford's two volume classic clearly indicates that Holmes' book can't be exhaustive, but this is in no way a criticism in itself. In fact I would say that it is one of the book's strongest points. Wellington, the Iron Duke is extremely readable, almost addictive in the way only a great novel can be, but without recourse to dumbing down. Holmes manages to recount the Duke's life and deeds both on and off the battle field with enough detail to inform, yet without becoming boring or pedantic. Here we see not only the Iron willed disciplinarian but also the man who cried when he saw the slaughter of Badajoz. He also endevors to give a more balanced assessment of the context in which Wellington lived and fought in battle and in parliament than has often been done (particulary with reference to the peninsula) and allows us to see how Wellington's experiences and background helped to shape his world view.
In short Richard Holmes seems to be that rare animal: an academic who can really write and communicate with readers. Wellington, The Iron Duke may not be adequate for hisorical researchers, but it's certainly an excellent and informative read for the rest of us with an interest in the man and his world.
Comment 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Richard Holmes should be applauded for this fantastic biography of Wellington.
He manages to expertly combine Wellington's military and personal history, with a pace that never slackens and holds the reader's attention throughout. With so many battles to describe Holmes could easily have bored or confused me, but he did not, and actually gave me a new interest in them. Holmes provides a balanced portrait of Wellington, describing both his talents and his faults. Holmes also provides beautifully written portraits of Wellington's peers, such as Richard Wellesley (Wellington's brother),and his wife, Kitty.
Wellington: The Iron Duke is an excellent companion to the television series of the same name, as it can go deeper into the events of Wellington's life than the three hour series.
Unfortunately, like Wellington himself, this book has some faults. With so much to describe, it cannot go into as much detail as I would have hoped for. But as a book to gain the reader's interest in a subject, and as a precursor to wider reading around it, I don't think that I shall ever see its equal.
Comment 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Although I finished this book with more knowledge on Wellington than I had at the start, I felt the book dwelt too much on detailed descriptions of military encounters, rather than giving me an insight into the man himself. Whilst I accept that his battle field encounters did much to shape his character, there is just too little about his domestic life, the relationship he had with wife and children, the reasoning behind his marriage and its failure, and his subsequent life in retirement.

Whilst accepting and understanding that Richard Holmes is a brilliant military historian, and this is his sphere of knowledge, a bit more was needed on non military matters.
Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
By A Customer on 17 July 2002
Format: Hardcover
First and foremost, i think this is a really good book. It ties in with the material covered in the three television programs and expands on the details which have been presented on the small screen. It reminds me of Simon Schama's books of his series "A History of Britain" and, as reading this for my own interest not for research purposes, i think it has been worth my while. In my opinion, it gives just about the right amount of coverage to each stage in Wellington's career thereby avoiding making him seem like a "one hit wonder" in the Battle of Waterloo.
Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
A brilliant book. Made me look forward to getting on the commuter trains from London Bridge and Paddington so I could read the next few chapters. if that comes out has been a popularist then good because i didn't see any of the TV programmes but enjoyed the book!
One really minor criticism, which is probably very pedantic, is that many dates are quoted as day and month without the year. So I had to refer back to know which year we were talking about.
Other than that the simply conclusion is buy and read it if you have any interest in Wellington and his period.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent primer about the life of Wellington.

I seem to be reading a lot of novels, at the moment, that are set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars. Be it just a cameo appearance, or the central character The Duke of Wellington always makes an appearance. As a consequence I wanted to learn more about the real man.

Richard Holmes's book was set at the ideal level for me. Very easy to read, almost like a novel in its style of writing. There were times when I would not have been surprised had Richard Sharpe turned up. But it did achieve the goal of letting me know and understand the man better and that was all that I needed.

This maybe a little on the 'lite' side for the serious historian. But for somebody like myself, absolutely spot on.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a readable book. It is an entertaining excursion through Wellington's life. His title was actually chosen by his brother and he had no close relationship with the town.
What I missed was some explanation of his military talent. Prior to India his military experience was brief, and he owed a great deal to nepotism. Yes ,he had talent and luck and seems to have been a decent man, but how did his military knowledge develop?
This book is something of a light, coffee table affair-enjoyable but shallow.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

click to open popover