Friday, 17 June 2011
To War with Wellington
I'm afraid I broke my cardinal rule this week by not finishing a book that I've started reading after getting past the first chapter. The shame! However, I have an excuse, a pathetic one but an excuse nonetheless. I've temporarily shelved Band of Brigands and picked up To War with Wellington by Peter Snow, primarily due to the fact that I'd read the first few pages in Waterstones and couldn't put it down.
I was a bit dubious when I picked it off the shelf to be honest, not being a great fan of TV history pundits with overblown swingometers. However, it's very well written and full of atmospheric narrative, much of which is based on eyewitness accounts of the campaigns, with a well balanced emphasis on History from Below tempered by the usual top down bibliographical coverage of Wellington and his various hangers on.
I've been absorbed by the description of Talavera in particular, which really brings the battle to life. So, highly recommended, even though I'm not a big fan of Napoleonics ( a bit too much like toy soldiers, unless it's at skirmish level, in my humble opinion).