Reviews: memoirs


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Abell, Lucia Elizabeth Balcombe  
To Befriend an Emperor: Betsy Balcombe's Memoirs of Napoleon on St. Helena
Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

The memoir of the teen who stole an Emperor's heart...

Adye, Ralph Willett
The Bombardier and Pocket Gunner, 1813 
Edited by Stpehen Summerfield
Reviewed by Don Graves

Superb edition of a classic manual on an artillerist’s duties. . .

Bogle, James and Andrew Uffindell (editors)
A Waterloo Hero: the Reminiscences of Friedrich Lindau

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Translated from the German for the first time. Lindau served in the 2nd KGL Light Battalion.

Bonaparte, Napoleon
Le Souper de Beaucaire or the Supper at Beaucairet
Reviewed by Ira Grossman

Napoleon's early foray into French politics…

Brandt, Heinrich von
In the Legions of Napoleon: The Memoirs of a Polish Officer in Spain and Russia, 1808-1813
Reviewed by Kevin Kiley

The memoirs of a Polish Parquin who fought in Napoleon's armies from the Spanish peninsula to the snows of Russia...

Brown, William
With the 45th at Badajoz, Salamanca, and Vittoria
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

This rare enlisted man's memoir is among the greatest. . .

Bunbury, Thomas
Reminiscences of a Veteran

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

One of the best of British memoirs of the Napoleonic Wars . . .

Cameron, John
The Letters of Lt. Colonel Sir John Cameron, 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment of Foot, 1808-14
Edited by Gareth Glover
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Gareth Glover unearths another valuable memoir of the British Army…

Capel, Lady Caroline
The Capel Letters 1814-1817; Being the Correspondence of Lady Caroline Capel
Reviewed by Anne Woodley

The letters of Marquess of Anglesey's sister and nieces during the Hundred Days and beyond give a personal and decidedly "civilian" look at the events surrounding the great battle of Waterloo...

Coignet, Captain Jean-Roch
The Note-Books of Captain Coignet
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

The strength of Coignet's writing lies not in his battle scenes, but in his ability to describe what life was like both on campaign and in garrison.

Cowan, Paul
With Wellington in the Peninsula: the Adventures of a Highland Soldier, 1808 – 1814

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A rare memoir of a British enlisted man in the Peninsula…

Davidov, Denis
In the Service of the Tsar Against Napoleon - The Memoirs of Denis Davidov, 1806 - 1814
Translated and edited by Gregory Troubetzkoy
Reviewed by Alfons Libert

Memoirs of a colorful Russian cavalry officer and partisan leader of the Napoleonic Wars who served as the model for a character in Tolstoy's War and Peace.

Drummond, John.
Journal of Ensign John Drummond of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, Peninsular War 1812 - 1814

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Everyday life of a privileged junior officer on campaign in the Peninsula…

Ebbecke, Ludwig
A Hussar Sergeant in the King's German Legion: the Memoirs of Cavalry Sergeant Ebbecke, 2nd Hussar Regiment King's German Legion, 1803 - 1815
Edited by Gareth Glover
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Unique memoir by a sergeant in the King’s German Legion…

Ewart, John F.
The Peninsular War Diary of Captain John Frederick Ewart, 52nd Light Infantry, 1811-12

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A look at the life of a company officer. . .

Fletcher, Ian (editor).
Voices from the Peninsula: Eyewitness Accounts by Soldiers of Wellington’s Army, 1808 – 1814
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A compelling compilation of first-hand account of the British Army in the Peninsula…

Franklin, John
Waterloo, Netherlands Correspondence: Volume 1 – Letters and Reports from Manuscript Sources

A welcomed look at the overlooked Netherlands contribution to the victory at Waterloo. . .

Waterloo Hanoverian Correspondence, Vol. 1: Letters and Reports from Manuscript Sources (Waterloo 1815)
Reviewed by Dr. Stephen Summerfield

Unique archive of primary sources in English. . .

Glover, Gareth
The American Sharpe: the Adventures of an American Officer of the 95th Rifles in the Peninsula & Waterloo Campaigns

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A rarity among British primary sources: an American officer's diary.

A Young Gentleman at War: the Letters of Captain Orlando Bridgeman 1st Foot Guards in the Peninsula and at Waterloo 1812 – 15
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A new favorite British memoir. . .

Eyewitness to the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo: the Letters and Journals of Lieutenant Colonel the Honourable James Hamilton Stanhope, 1803 to 1825
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Another superb production by Gareth Glover…

From Corunna to Waterloo: the Letters and Journals of Two Napoleonic Hussars, 1801-1816
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

From Corunna to Waterloo: the Letters and Journals of Two Napoleonic Hussars, 1801-1816
Reviewed by Steve Brown

Two 'lost' memoirs of the Peninsular war by British hussars...

'It all Culminated at Hougoumont': the Letters of Captain John Lucie Blackman, Coldstream Guards 1812 – 15
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

The prolific letters of a privileged officer of the Coldstream Guards. . .

The Journal of Trooper Samuel Gallagher, 5th Dragoon Guards in Spain, Portugal and France, 1810 – 1815
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Seven Years on the Peninsula: the Memoirs of Private Adam Reed, 47th (Lancashire) Foot 1806-1817
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

The memoirs of a lovable rogue in the Peninsular. . .

The Diary of William Gavin, Ensign and Quartermaster of the 71st Highland Regiment, 1806-1815
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Another “lost” memoir edited by the indefatigable Gareth Glover…

The Texas Papers: a Collection of Peninsular War Letters, Written by Various Senior British & Portuguese Officers held at the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Texas
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Rare, first-hand accounts by British officers serving in the Portuguese Army from the always reliable Gareth Glover…

The Waterloo Archive Volume I: British Sources
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

An exciting new series that provides primary source material on the Waterloo Campaign that has never been published before or hasn't been published in over 100 years.

The Waterloo Archive Volume II: German Sources
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A rare chance to read German eyewitness accounts of this famous battle…

The Waterloo Archive Volume III: British Sources
Reviewed by Ron McGuigan

A worthy addition in the Waterloo Archives series...

The Waterloo Archive: Volume IV British Sources
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

The best volume in the Waterloo Archives series yet…

The Waterloo Archive Volume V: German Sources
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

More German eyewitness accounts of Waterloo in Gareth Glover’s essential series…

Wellington’s Voice: the Candid Letters of Lieutenant Colonel John Fremantle, Coldstream Guards, 1808-1837
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Massive collection of letters by a Peninsular Guards officer and politically well-connected aide to Wellington…

Gordon, Alexander
At Wellington’s Right Hand: the Letters of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Alexander Gordon, 1808 – 1815
Edited by Dr. Rory Muir
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A previously unpublished set of letters written by Wellington’s chief aide-de-camp.

Gronow, R.H.
Captain Gronow: His Reminiscences of Regency and Victorian Life 1810-60
Reviewed by Anne Woodley

An amusing and gossipy look at nineteenth century society, but as to accuracy -well, the jury is still definitely out...

Guyot, Général Comte.
Carnets de Campagne, 1792-1815
Edited with comments by Jean-Hughes de Font-Réaulx
Reviewed by Yves Martin

The highly interesting "rough notes" of a Colonel in Napoleon's Chasseurs à Cheval de la Garde.

Hale, James
The Journal of James Hale, late Serjeant in the Ninth Regiment of Foot
Reviewed by Alfons Libert

The memoirs and journals of simple soldiers, men who only saw and experienced what happened to them or right in front of them, give us an insight in how it really was.

Hamilton, Anthony
Hamilton's Campaigns with Moore and Wellington during the Peninsular War
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

The memoirs of a soldier who served with the British 43rd Light Infantry for most of the Peninsular War.

Hausmann, Lieutenant Joseph
A Soldier for Napoleon: The Campaigns of Lieutenant Joseph Hausmann 7th Bavarian Infantry
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

The Hausmann papers will be invaluable to both the connoisseur of Napoleonic memoirs and to those who are have a general interest in the period. They are rich in detail and fill a large gap in the information on the lives of the Germans who fought under the French Eagle.

A Soldier for Napoleon: The Campaigns of Lieutenant Joseph Hausmann 7th Bavarian Infantry
Reviewed by Donald Graves

The 2016 reprint of this long out-of-print book!

Hay, Andrew
Reminiscences 1808-1815 under Wellington. The Peninsular and Waterloo Memoirs of William Hay

Edited by Andrew Bamford
Reviewed by Donald Graves

A new edition recounting the life and times of a British officer in the Peninsula and at Waterloo…

Henegan, Richard D.
Seven Years Campaigning in the Peninsula and the Netherlands, 1808 – 1815

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

An eyewitness account by a Military Commissary of hard campaigning. . .

Hildebrand, John
Fighting Napoleon: the Recollections of Lieutenant John Hildebrand 35th Foot in the Mediterranean and Waterloo Campaigns

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A vivid memoir of fighting in a forgotten theater…

Fighting Napoleon: the Recollections of Lieutenant John Hildebrand 35th Foot in the Mediterranean and Waterloo Campaigns
Reviewed by Josh Provan

The life of a British subaltern whose adventures rival those of a fictional character…

Johnston, R.M. (Editor)
In the Words of Napoleon: The Emperor Day by Day
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Napoleon's life presented in his own words…

Kincaid, John
Adventures in the Rifle Brigade: In the Peninsula, France and the Netherlands from 1809 to 1815
Reviewed by Anne Woodley

The irrepressible classic of life in the 95th Regiment...

King, Dean and Hattendorf, John B.
Every Man Will Do His Duty: An Anthology of Firsthand Accounts From the Age of Nelson, 1793-1815
Reviewed by Kevin Kiley

An excellent source of interesting and varied eyewitness accounts of the naval battles of the Napoleonic age...

Kinloch, Charles. 
A Hellish Business:  the Letters of Captain Charles Kinloch 52nd Light Infantry 1806 – 1816

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A rare set of letters from an officer in the 52nd Light Infantry. . .

Le Mesurier, Peter.
Through Spain with Wellington: The Letters of Lieutenant Peter Le Mesurier of the ‘Fighting Ninth.’
Edited by Adrian Greenwood
Reviewed by Rory Muir

A substantial and fascinating memoir of an officer in one of the Peninsula’s less famous divisions. . .

Le Mesurier, Peter.
Through Spain with Wellington: The Letters of Lieutenant Peter Le Mesurier of the ‘Fighting Ninth.’

Edited by Adrian Greenwood
Reviewed by Josh Provan

Rediscovered letters of a young British officer…

Leventhal, Lionel
On Publishing: A Professional Memoir
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

How all those books get published…

Lowry, James
Fiddlers and Whores: the Candid Memoirs of a Surgeon in Nelson’s Fleet

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A gem of a book on life in Nelson's navy that is quite readable and highly entertaining.

Macdonald, Jacques Etienne  
The French Macdonald: The 1825 Travel Diary of Jacques Etienne Joseph Alexandre Macdonald

Reviewed by Susan Howard

A French Marshal returns to his Scottish roots. . .

Machell, Lancelot
The Peninsular War Letters of Lancelot Machell RE

Edited by Mark S. Thompson
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A set of letters by an officer who served in the Royal Corps of Miners and Sappers.

Madden, George
The Services of General Sir George Madden 1789-1814
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Rare memoir of a British officer in command of Portuguese cavalry fighting with the Spanish in the Peninsula….

Markham, J. David (editor)
Napoleon and Doctor Verling on St Helena
Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

The last remaining unpublished account of Napoleon's final years...

McClure, George
Causes of the Destruction of the American Towns on the Niagara Frontier, and Failure of the Campaign of the Fall of 1813

Reviewed by Donald E. Graves

The justifications of the author of a disaster and the novel it inspired…

Miller, Benjamin
The Adventures of Serjeant Benjamin Miller whilst Serving in the 4th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: 1796 to 1815
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

The memoirs of a soldier who served with the British Royal Artillery during the Napoleonic Wars

Moiret, Joseph-Marie
Captain Joseph-Marie Moiret: Memoirs of Napoleon’s Egyptian Expedition 1798 – 1801
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

A first-hand look at Napoleon's Egyptian adventure…

Müffling, Friedrich Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von
The Memoirs of Baron von Müffling: a Prussian Officer in the Napoleonic Wars
Reviewed by Steve Brown

A Prussian “view from HQ”…

Noël, Jean-Nicolas-Auguste.
With Napoleon's Guns: The Military Memoirs of an Officer of the First Empire
Translated and edited by Rosemary Brindle

Reviewed by David McCracken

A unique inside look at Napoleon's artillery...

Packe, Henry.
With the 1st Foot Guards in the Peninsular and at Waterloo: the Letters of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Pack, 1806 – 1816

An excellent account of an officer who missed out…

Pushin, Pavel.
Diaries of the 1812-1814 Campaigns

Translated and edited by Alexander Mikaberidze
Reviewed by Greg Gorsuch

A firsthand account of the Russian Campaign through the eyes of a Russian Guard officer…

Radozhitskii, Ilya.
Campaign Memoirs of the Artilleryman, Part I: 1812. Russian Voices of the Napoleonic Wars
Translated and edited by Alexander Mikaberidze
Reviewed by Greg Gorsuch

A memoir of 1812 that rivals—and was a basis for—War and Peace

Riley, Jonathon
A Matter of Honour: The Life, Campaigns and Generalship of Isaac Brock

Reviewed by Ron McGuigan

A new biography of Gen. Brock for the 1812 Bicentennial. . .

Robertson, Ian
The Exploits of Ensign Bakewell – With the Inniskillings in the Peninsula, 1810-11; and in Paris, 1815
Reviewed by Gareth Glover

Schaumann, August Ludolf Friedrich
On the Road with Wellington: The Diary of a War Commissary
Reviewed by Alfons Libert

The captivating story of a commissary officer in the King's German Legion that kept me awake all night reading...

On the Road with Wellington: The Diary of a War Commissary
Reviewed by Steve Brown

One of the best memoirs from the Peninsular War…

Smith, Sir Harry
The Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith, 1787-1819
Reviewed by Anne Woodley

The rollicking recollections of an officer of the famous 95th Rifles written "at the gallop"...

Thompson, Mark S. (editor)
The Peninsular War Diary of Edmund Mulcaster RE, 1808 - 1810
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

The daily life and work of the British engineers in the Peninsula…

Vandeleur, John.
With Wellington's Outposts: the Peninsular and Waterloo Letters of John Vandeleur
Edited by Andrew Bamford
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Annotated version of one of the rarest “memoirs” of a British cavalry officer…

Vionnet, Louis Joseph
With Napoleon’s Guard in Russia: The Memoirs of Major Vionnet, 1812

Translated and edited by Jonathan North
Reviewed by Tom Holmberg

An interesting memoir of the Russian campaign enhanced by the reminiscences of other memoirists in the same unit…

Walton, George.
George Walton 1796 – 1874: the Journal & Diary of a Rifleman of the 95th Who Fought at Waterloo

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Was in the 2nd Battalion in the 1813 Campaign in Holland and the Waterloo Campaign,

Willis, Henry
The Letters of Private Henry Willis: 1st Regiment of Life Guards, 1807-14

Edited by Gareth Glover
Reviewed by Robert Burnham

Letters of an unusual Guardsman on campaign…

Yermolov, Alexey
The Czar's General: The Memoirs of a Russian General in the Napoleonic Wars

Reviewed by: Ron McGuigan

Memoirs of the Napoleonic Wars. Russian Voices of the Napoleonic Wars, Vol. III
Reviewed by Greg Gorsuch

Another unique insight into the workings of the Russian army...

Watson, Edward
Personal Adventures of a Young Officer during Walcheren & the Peninsular War: the Memoirs of Ensign Edward Watson 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot, 1808 - 11

Reviewed by Robert Burnham

An unusual look at a dissenter in Wellington’s ranks…



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