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Wellington: The Path to Victory 1769-1814 Hardcover – 4 Oct 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (4 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300186657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300186659
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 341,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Muir's painstaking recital of facts and descriptions of battles will delight military buffs.'-Lawrence James, The Times -- Lawrence James The Times 'The Wellington biography for our time.'-Gary Sheffield, BBC History Magazine -- Gary Sheffield BBC History Magazine "[E]xtensively researched and anchored in fact, [Muir] gives an invaluable picture of the duke in his early years that will be unfamiliar to many who know only of his military exploits. Muir has researched his subject for 30 years and it shows...[The] second volume - to judge by his first - cannot come soon enough..."-Simon Heffer, New Statesman -- Simon Heffer New Statesman "The first major Life of Wellington since Elizabeth Longford's work of 1969-72, Rory Muir's biography is matched by an extensive commentary online (at www.lifeofwellington.co.uk). Muir comes to his task after long research on the wars against Napoleon, from both political and military perspectives...giv[ing] us an exceptional insight into the struggle, the changes that were necessary to sustain British forces, and the impact made by determined and ambitious individuals."-Chris Woolgar, Times Literary Supplement -- Chris Woolgar TLS 'Mr. Muir provides an authoritative view... an important book.'-Max Hastings, The Wall Street Journal -- Max Hastings The Wall Street Journal Won Second place in the 2014 International Napoleonic Society book award -- Book Award International Napoleonic Society

About the Author

Rory Muir is visiting research fellow, University of Adelaide. His previously published books include a highly praised study of Wellington's great triumph at Salamanca and the edited letters of Alexander Gordon, Wellington's confidential aide-de-camp. He lives in Australia.


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Format: Hardcover
"Wellington: The Path To Victory, 1769-1814", the new biography of the Duke of Wellington by Rory Muir, is simply put the best biography of the Iron Duke now available. It supersedes any previous bios and is a prime example of how biography should be written. Although a massive tome (744 pages in the print edition) it is still only the first book of a two-volume set, the fruit of a lifetime's research and discovery into Wellington and his times by author Rory Muir.

As the author noted in his preface, Wellington was not, in the usual sense of the phrase, "a political soldier", but both politics and the army were intimately entwined throughout his career, from the very beginning until the end. He was a Member of Parliament before he saw a shot fired in anger; when he died (1852) he was both Commander-in-Chief of the army and an elder statesman of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords.

This has led author Muir to write a two-volume biography that is a thorough reassessment of Field Marshal Wellington's entire life from the cradle to the grave and in which three strands are constantly entwined: Wellington's own actions and perspective; the history of his military campaigns and the political debates in which he was engaged; and the way he was perceived by his contemporaries, or the history of his reputation, which was itself a significant influence on his life and actions.

"The Path To Victory, 1769-1814" covers the first forty-five years of his life. Alas, for the Battle of Waterloo (1815), Wellington's crowning glory, we will have to wait for volume two.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is detailed and substantial biography which paints a vivid picture of its subject. The chapters on the Peninsular War do not break much new ground, but the account of Wellington's earlier years does. I look forward to the second volume.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"Wellington: The Path To Victory, 1769-1814", the new biography of the Duke of Wellington by Rory Muir, is simply put the best biography of the Iron Duke now available. It supersedes any previous bios and is a prime example of how biography should be written. Although a massive tome (744 pages in the print edition) it is still only the first book of a two-volume set, the fruit of a lifetime's research and discovery into Wellington and his times by author Rory Muir.

As the author noted in his preface, Wellington was not, in the usual sense of the phrase, "a political soldier", but both politics and the army were intimately entwined throughout his career, from the very beginning until the end. He was a Member of Parliament before he saw a shot fired in anger; when he died (1852) he was both Commander-in-Chief of the army and an elder statesman of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords.

This has led author Muir to write a two-volume biography that is a thorough reassessment of Field Marshal Wellington's entire life from the cradle to the grave and in which three strands are constantly entwined: Wellington's own actions and perspective; the history of his military campaigns and the political debates in which he was engaged; and the way he was perceived by his contemporaries, or the history of his reputation, which was itself a significant influence on his life and actions.

"The Path To Victory, 1769-1814" covers the first forty-five years of his life. Alas, for the Battle of Waterloo (1815), Wellington's crowning glory, we will have to wait for volume two.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the second and final part of Muir's excellent biography of Wellington. It covers the period 1814 to 1852. The first part dealt with the Duke's time as a general, this book examines his time as a politician. Muir's account is balanced, informative and written with flair. After reading this book you know a great deal more about Wellington than hitherto.

Of the 30 chapters only the first four deal with the period 1814 to 1815. The topics thereafter covered include: peacemaking; the radical challenge; the Queen's Affair; Verona and Spain; his time as MGO; P M in 1828-30; Catholic Emancipation; out of office from 1830 to 1841; the 1832 Reform Bill; leading the Lords; back in government 1841-52; and C-in-C 1842-52.

Wellington was a pragmatist . His pragmatism was however tempered by flexibility. The Duke had no time for ideology. When formulating policy he asked two key questions: was it necessary, and would it work. He hated the raucous hurly -burly of party politics because he believed it hampered efficient government. He also disliked the press saying it was only tolerable as it was necessary for liberty.

Wellington was in politics during a very turbulent time . He had to deal, for example, with an attempt to murder him and the cabinet, the 1832 Reform Act, violent protests over the demand for more electoral reform, Queen Caroline's divorce, the question of reparations after 1815-which he handled with compassion and generosity, Catholc Emancipation, and the repeal of the Corn Laws. In almost all cases the ex general handled them with dispassionate judgement. In brief, he acted as a true statesman, something that is rare in politics.

Strangely, Wellington has never been fashionable. There has been much debunking starting after his funeral in 1852.
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