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Well in Hand: The Four-Horse Club

Originally one of the clubs frequented by the notorious Earl of Barrymore, the Four-Horse club had been a wild group of young men who enjoyed bribing coachmen to give them the reins to the vehicles and then driving them at break-neck speeds along the very poor British Roads.

A traditional Barouche could accommodate two, four or six horses, a driver, passengers and two grooms.

By the early nineteenth century it was a respectable club for superb drivers. At its peak it only had some 30-40 members.

Continue reading Well in Hand: The Four-Horse Club

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Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson by Paula Byrne

Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson

Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson

For those who enjoy the Regency period and life of George IV, this is one of the most perfect books to introduce you into the famous lives of the period. Mary Robinson’s was a brief, intense and fascinating life which pushed the established mores to their limits.

The Prince of Wales (later to be George IV) became enamoured of Mary during her portrayal of Peridita in Shakespeare’s, A Winter’s Tale. She was a young actress, escaped from a bad marriage and strange father. She took to the stage for some income (as many women of the time did instead of taking up some of the “older” professions available to them).

The Prince of Wales became known as Florizel to Robinson’s Perdita and she was his first ‘major’ mistress. Their lives intertwined for a brief period in his early adulthood – the beginning of what is known as the ‘extended Regency’. Robinson was later mistress to many of the influential peers of the time, and was even friends with Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire;

At a time when Georgian morals were of questionable value (everything in private, nothing in public)- when profligacy, spending, appearance and general splendour were the order of the day – Mary Robinson orbited on at the perimeter of acceptability. An actress, an abandoned wife, a mistress, and more.

I found this book overlong, but worth the effort to read. It is one of a series of books about women on the edge of society in this period, and has been great to build up a picture of life and living in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. The author has gone to enormous efforts to track down information on Robinson, and it has paid off. There seems to be a good depth of research to back up the work. Overall Perdita is a good read and well worth making the effort.

Price: £7.99
Publisher: HarperPerennial
ISBN-10: 0007164599
ISBN-13: 978-0007164592

Anne Woodley, the reviewer of Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson, is an Amazon top 500 reviewer, the patroness of Janeites – the Internet discussion, and is mistress of the Regency Ring. Her excellent page, The Regency Collection is a treasure trove of information.

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Medically Speaking

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Medicine
by Roy Porter

I decided, given the variation in literature available, to read and review three books on medicine by Roy Porter at once. They are this one, The Cambridge Illustrated History: Medicine, as well as The Greatest Benefit of Mankind and Gout, the Patrician Maladay. I thought this was the best approach as people might be looking for a reference work to buy and trying to toss up between which one to get and what the advantages and disadvantages of buying one of these would be, for the first two of these, at least. I read “Gout” because it offered a view of Porter’s work in a more focussed subject in contrast with the two other generalised works.

The Cambridge History is divided into ten chapters, four of which have been written by Porter himself (he is editor of the whole book). Each chapter is independent of the others and follows one quite broad topic. This means you might read over the same historical period in more than one chapter. The subjects include ‘History of Disease’, ‘Rise in Medicine’, ‘Hospitals’.

The great advantage of this book over the other two mentioned is that it has been liberally illustrated in both colour and black white pictures. They intersperse the text all the way through – and this sort of socio-medical history very much benefits from this sort of treatment. It provides both support for the text and makes for easy reading. The text itself isn’t too bogged down in technically yawnable detail. Porter is readable, but at the same time it is not a light-weight work written simply to gratify a tabloid market. Naturally, because of constraints of size, it is neither heavy on statistics, nor is their room to fully develop some of the historical points which are made. As a matter of interest I compared some subjects in this work with Porter’s other book which he wrote a year later The Greatest Benefit to Mankind. And in detail the ‘The Greatest Benefit..” certainly wins out – but it is twice as long as this one so simply has more room to supply detail.

What I enjoyed most about this book were (1) the fact that it is lavishly illustrated and in colourI’m not sure if a picture does indeed paint a thousand words, but it certainly provides a ready visual cue) and (2) the inserts where subjects were dealt with in side-bars of short separate stories. These included things like ‘Transience of Consumptive Beauty”, “Nursing becomes professional”, Black Death and various biographies.

It all goes to make it a better browsable read than the Greatest Benefit to Mankind – it is probably better for younger ages too who will enjoy the illustrations and the interspersing articles. It is difficult to make a decision, but if you are choosing to buy one (Greatest Benefit vs Cambridge Illustrated) I think the illustrations win it for me in the end. though I notice both are quite reasonably priced in soft cover.

Paperback: 400 pages (July 1, 2001)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521002524
List Price: £19.99



Gout: The Patrician Malady
Roy Porter, G.S. Rousseau

This is the third review I have written on Socio-medical histories by Roy Porter. I read and reviewed this book, Gout – the Patrician Malady at the same time as his more general medical histories Cambridge Illustrated History: Medicine – and The Greatest Benefit to Mankind. I wanted to compare these books with Porter’s work on more specific topics. Porter mentions Gout in passing in both his general histories, but I wondered how he would deal with a more specific subject which had the space of an entire book to develop.

He certainly brings the same light writing style to this book as he does to his other subjects and it made fun reading for what at times could have been very dull and dry.

Porter turns a medical subject into a very interesing social history, he overlays the historical recognition of Gout, its rise in prevalance and treatment, as well as the development of it as a fashionable, upper-class ailment very well. He does this by drawing in the literature and art of the times to track its social progress. Porter certainly shows himself a master of the subject. However, I didn’t like the way he sectioned the book. It felt clumsy to me. It is in three parts Histories, Cultures and Goutometries and they seemed to overlap especially the last two sections. Although I did love the chapter on Art in ‘Goutometries’. Perhaps the most interesting chapter for me was the in the ‘Cultures’ section “Indian Summer; Romantic and Victorian Gout” which traced the literary tradition against the actual social status of Gout through the nineteenth century using representations of Gout in Disraeli and Austen to George Eliot. The most amusing thing, I thought, was Gout as a Symbol of Social Status – Gout was for the upper classes, and rather fashionable – and this resulted in many non-gout illnesses being diagnosed as Gout.

At times I found the book rather long – but I rather think that was me rather than the writing. Most of my interest lies in the Georgian period which was really the peak of the Gout popularity. I wish it had been illustrated in colour too. The only illustrations at all were in the Goutometries and those were black reproductions on standard paper. The book probably has limited interest to most people – but for lovers of Georgian period or medical histories I think this is well worth reading.

Hardcover: 402 pages (September 24, 1998)
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300073860
Price: £30.00

Anne Woodley is an Amazon top 500 reviewer as well as the patroness of Janeites, the Internet discussion, as well as mistress of the Regency Ring. Her excellent page, The Regency Collection is a treasure trove of information.

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The Girl From Botany Bay

The Girl from Botany Bay
by Carolly Erickson

Mary Broad had a brief moment of celebrity, and this is probably one of the only reasons we know so much about the life and times of not just Broad, but others like her. Women who lived a hand to mouth existence, who trod on the wrong side of the law, and then suffered the horrific consequences of British Justice in the late Eighteenth century.

Broad was arrested for robbery in 1786 and committed to transportation to the extremely new colony of New South Wales in Australia. She was first imprisoned on the stinking hulks which had their own brutal justice systems on board. Later came the terrible, long journey half way round the world, only to reach Australia and suffer famine from failed crops.

Her stoicism in spite of enormous hardship and her ability to survive are testament to an extraordinary woman, and her story of survival is amazing.

Erikson has done a great job as usual drawing from sources to outline the social aspects of the time and combining them to reflect what she lived through where her accounts are limited. Certainly, there are many accounts of male life in transporation but few remain of what women’s lot were. Sian Rees published a great book a few years ago called Floating Brothel, which I would highly recommend to read with this one – it follows a transport ship of women and what happened to them on the ship and after – as the title of that book reflects it was not an easy voyage.

Mary Broad, along with several male convicts and her own young children, made a daring escape in a small, stolen boat. Perhaps fortified by stories of the survivors of the Bounty, they sailed along the Australian coast and across open sea to the Dutch settlement of Kupang in Indonesia, where they enjoyed a few months of ease before their recapture.* She was eventually returned to Britain where she was imprisoned again. Only the intervention of the writer Boswell (who was famous for his connection to the Johnson) garnered a royal pardon for her.

Erickson has been a prolific but good writer, I have enjoyed many of her previous biographies including an excellent one on the Regency period. It was a very good read. My only real quibble with it is that I felt it was less fluid than some I have read lately which have been page turners (without being tabloid). It had a nice measured pace and I found I was kept interested in the outcome to the end. Overall a nice interesting history which should appeal to a wide range of readers

Anne Woodley is an Amazon top 500 reviewer as well as the patroness of Janeites, the Internet discussion, as well as mistress of the Regency Ring. Her excellent page, The Regency Collection is a treasure trove of information.

* From the Publisher’s Weekly review, 2004

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The Art of Regency War

British Military Spectacle : From the Napoleonic Wars through the Crimea
By Scott Hughs Myerly

It was only after I had read some way into this book that I realised that it must have been some kind of thesis. When did people start writing them so well?

It isn’t encumbered with that annoying pseudo-intellectulese that people who generally present theses are so proud of to confuse the reader. In fact the points it does present are in strikingly simple and wonderfully readable.

The issue Myerly discusses is the development of the British army in the first half of the nineteenth century, basically the Napoleonic Wars until Crimea and it is a fascinating period.

He discusses the changing attitudes to discipline, uniform, recruiting and life in general in the army – but also the effects the army had on civilian life and vice versa.

There is an enormous bibliography at the end of the book, followed by extensive footnotes (some 100 pages). If you don’t like footnotes then I can assure you they don’t interfer with the reading in the text but help do help to clarify issues for those that want to delve deeper into an issue.

The only reason I have marked the book down from 5 stars was really a bit trivial, I found the last couple of chapters a bit repetitive – or they seemed so to me. I could barely put the book down for the first 5 or so chapters, and it really got me thinking.

Definitely worthwhile!

Available from £12.00
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN-10: 0674082494
ISBN-13: 978-0674082496


Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon
by Rory Muir

What polarising reviews readers have given on this book. However the first crime this book is accused of, Anglocentrism, I find a little unfair. As Muir points out on the very first page of his preface- “The Anglocentrism of [writers on the Peninsular Wars] approach was not simply the product of a national bias…but rather reflects the fact that for the period of the Napoleonic Wars there is an extraordinarily rich collection of first-hand British accounts of combat, which appears unmatched in any other language.” He goes into far more detail on this, but I think you get the point.

Napoleonic Warfare has been a fascination for from the time I read John Keegan’s account of Waterloo in The Face of Battle – and that is the point of Muir, taking up the Challenge that Keegan posed – this is a book of action and battle order rather than general army life. I found Muir’s style very readable. He interlaces his arguments with supporting information from quotes out of contemporary diaries and biographies. I liked this because it made the information more than a dry recounting of a structure, but it also gave you a chance to test Muir’s theories for yourself based on his supposed supporting information. It is also pretty easy to track down the source of his quotes if you wish to find its context in further detail. I did find the secontion in Part III, which dealt with Command and Control, the most difficult to read. It overlaid the roles of a number of different armies and men which I found a little confusing. I am not sure how to do it better – but perhaps it would have been easier to split that section up by country rather than by military rank.

The book is divided into 4 sections – 1 – The introduction which has chapters on the Eve of the battle, and on Battles and Battlefields. Part 2 takes up very much where John Keegan left off and describes the conduct on the battlefield of various sections of the military so Artillery, light infantry, cavalry and so on. I did wonder where the Engineers and the Wagon train were. Part 3 is Command and control which is the role of various ranks and two very interesting chapters on morale and attitudes. I thought there were some interesting cross-overs in this chapter with Myerley’s book British Military Spectacle. Part 4 is the aftermath of the battle.

There is an excellent bibliography at the end of this all. I think Muir has done a very good job in attempting to extend John Keegan’s work on Napoleonic War. I don’t think this is by far the end of studies that could be done on nineteenth century battles though.

Price: £12.50
Publisher: Yale University Press; New Ed edition (15 Feb 2000)
ISBN-10: 0300082703
ISBN-13: 978-0300082708

Anne Woodley is an Amazon top 500 reviewer as well as the patroness of Janeites, the Internet discussion, as well as mistress of the Regency Ring. Her excellent page, The Regency Collection is a treasure trove of information.

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The Worlds of Georgette Heyer

Georgette Heyer's Regency World Review

Georgette Heyer’s Regency World
by Jennifer Kloester

As the patroness of two online discussion lists, Janeites, for Jane Austen Fans, and the Georgette Heyer discussion list, I am just the audience who Kloester’s is aiming at with this book, and I have to say she absolutely hit the mark! This is an extraodinary book and one which I will be happily recommending.

I get questions all the time from people who want to write Regency novels and are looking for a good overall book to guide them, and from others who want to know more about the Regency and Georgian world which Heyer inhabited for her unique Drawing Room romantic/comedies. Generally I give them an outline of a series of books which they could read which will give them some background, but there has never been a truly comprehensive book which is both academic, readable, spefcific to the period and general enough to cover everything but still give a confident grasp of detail. This book finally does that and well done to Kloester for acheiving that.

Her chapter summaries at the start give you a very good idea of the information covered so you are able to get to what you want immediately – chapters include Up and Down the social Ladder, Town and country, Man’s world, Gentle Sex, On the Town, Pleasure Haunts, Fashionable Resorts, Getting About, What to Wear, Shopping, Eat, Drink and be Merry, Sporting life, Business and The Military. Whos Who in the Regency includes extremely useful appendixes such as glossary of cant terms, newspapers and magazines, Heyer Books, a timeline, reading about the Regency, where to go next and so forth with some excellent references for easy access – I was also flattered to find my own website in the www addresses so thanks for that, too, Jennifer.

I was surprised to see a reviewer saying that there was no new information in this. I strongly contest this. Kloester has done more than simply rehash old information, she has provided some new insights for me (I never knew for instance that Rotten Row was originally Rue de Roi – or street of the King) but she has used her extensive knowledge of Heyer novels to reference items in the Regency.

This is not the sort of book where you can find analysis of Heyer’s novels one by one – Hodge’s excellent work, The Private World of Georgette Heyer which has just been reissued is definitely the book for that. However you can read about Regency life in here with reference to Heyer’s novels.

I would highly recommend this to all Regency fans, those who wish to write a novel, and those who simply wish to understand more in one handy reference book. This is an excellent jumping off point for further reading, but it is also an extremely good book for any fans of the Regency, knowledgeable or otherwise. I will definitely be reading anything else Kloester publishes!

Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: William Heinemann (6 Oct 2005)
ISBN-10: 0434013293
ISBN-13: 978-0434013296
Price: £17.99

The Private World of Georgette Heyer
by Jane Aiken Hodge

Jane Aiken Hodge wrote the first critical perspective of Heyer’s books, and it is one of the most useful books. Not only is it an insight into Georgette Heyer’s world, but also a glimpse into her own life. Hodge had access to her diary’s and notebooks, a privilege not extended to anyone else until Mary Fahnstock Thomas did her critical perspective. (Also very good)

The Private World of Georgette Heyer should be put into perspective. It shows the development of Heyer’s writing, from the first episodic book she wrote for her brother (Black Moth) and published at the age of 17, to her experiment with modern novels (All Suppressed) to her experiments with writing mysteries, historical novels, her movement into her most famous genre, Regency Romances, and finally to the works she considered her most eponymous – that is, Medieval fiction. Her last work was left unfinished, and was published as such. It is perhaps her most disliked by her modern readers.

Heyer is not necessarily recognised by the wider public as the woman who spawned the Regency Romance genre. She was badly copied by the likes of Barbara Cartland, but as Heyer’s fans know, Heyer did hours of painstaking research on her subjects. Hodge does an excellent job of showing this in this book. Some of the illustrations Heyer copied from books and magazines in the British Library are reproduced, but more usefully, Hodge goes through each book and allows a chapter for it and Heyer’s life at the time. Usually there is a struggle with the Inland Revenue involved as Heyer seemed to have to write to pay the tax bills more often than not.

There are occassional lapses where Hodge makes minor mistakes on books etc, these are pretty forgiveable in a book of this scope and they usually don’t affect the understanding of Heyer and her books too greatly.

For anyone wishing to understand Georgette Heyer, or get a greater understanding of the period in history she was writing about (or living in) this is an excellent work. If nothing else just flick through and look at the pictures. An extraodinary woman, and a very private life well illustrated.

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (6 April 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0099493497
ISBN-13: 978-0099493495
Price: £8.99


Anne Woodley is an Amazon top 500 reviewer as well as the patroness of Janeites, the Internet discussion, as well as mistress of the Regency Ring. Her excellent page, The Regency Collection is a treasure trove of information.

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Two Views of Napoleon

Napoleon’s Russian Campaign
by Count Phillipe-Paul de Segur

This is a raw account of Napoleon’s Russian 1812 Russian Campaign from not just an eye witness, but a French officer and aide to Napoleon. Phillipe-Paul de Segur was rarely more than a few feet from Napoleon’s side throughout this campaign and doesn’t swerve from making observations on Napoleon both positive or negative. But a great deal of the power of this book comes from the stark observations of the horror this heedless march into Russia caused.

There is good reason that this account, first published in 1824, has been republished so many times – It is very good – and was used as a main source for a number of authors including Tolstoy (who cobbled a number of events for War and Peace from it), Victor Hugo and Chateaubriand. Interestingly it was not until 1965 that the first English version was published.

It is such a short period of history, fewer than six months, but the foolish action cost Napoleon his dominance in Europe and marked his turn in power. For it is here that he lost thousands of men, and showed just how vulnerable he could be.

In the Spring of 1812, Napoleon, angry that the Russian Emperor had deifed the Treaty of Tilsit and ignored his Continental system, decided to throw all his forces into invading Russia. The Russian Army met and tried to stop the relentless onslaught of the French at the River Neimen, but defeated they fell back in retreat, burning everything as they went.

Napoleon pushed hard on to Moscow – thinking the Russians would sue for peace once he was in that all important city. They didn’t – and by October 19th with a huge army, few supplies and the harsh winter approaching, he realised had to retreat through the burnt decimated country back to the safety of the west. Napoleon knew, as all the army did, it was already too late….yet they had to go.

That is the background to this very moving account

Paperback: 306 pages
Publisher: Greenwood Press Reprint
Language: English
ISBN: 0837184436
List Price: from £5.50

The Black Room at Longwood:
Napoleon’s Exile on Saint Helena
by Jean-Paul Kauffmann

This is a strange mixture and I have to admit to very much disliking it when I first picked it up. It is a translated version of what was originally a French work and the English to me seemed a bit florid and dramatic. I am not sure if that is the translation or if the French naturally write in that style. I would, however, recommend people who are interested in Napoleon to persevere – it is a strange sort of book but worth the read.

I say this for two other reasons – firstly because Kauffmann has read just about every primary source about Napoleon’s exile on St Helens – a tiny island pretty much in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and secondly because Kauffmann knows first hand about captivity.

After reading this book a little, and not enjoying it, I read the author biography – this man spent some years as a captive in Beirut in the 1980’s. Returning to the book I started to realise that this is more than just a book about Napoleon, or about a travellogue to the island. This is a story about captivity and its psychological side. Kauffmann is very clearly the right man to write about it. The oppression of captivity overwhelms the writing sometimes. Kauffman clearly found the place oppressive – he keeps talking of the town itself squeezed between two mountains – it is one of his repetitive themes and I get the sense that if he didn’t sail out there expecting to dislike the place, his dislike of it coloured his later writings about it.
I think this book could just as easily be named 8 days on St Helens as the book is divided into chapters for each day. So his trip is dealt with chronologically – the information about Napoleon ducks and dives – often with seemingly little logic to it. However if you are looking to learn about Napoleon’s last years they are touched on – more so Napoleon as a man is revealed. His impatience (he drove each day on the island in a carriage with two wives of his officers – but went at such high speed as to throw them around – a demonstration of power?) and his arrogance.

There are also interesting insights into the man prior to his captivity – for instance I never knew Napoleon couldn’t speak perfect French – (he spoke it badly and confusingly at times – muddling his words and pronunciations). However I don’t think Kauffman explains anything new to most scholars of Napoleon. He mentions that Napoleon considered going to America before settling for surrendering to the English – why did he change his mind?

You can read this book on many different levels – a story of St Helens, a mixed bag of Napoleonic history, or a story of captivity. All have different merits in this – but they are all mixed together. I don’t know that I would recommend making a special trip to get it – but worth reading if you haven’t much else to do.

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Four Walls Eight Windows
Language: English
ISBN: 1568581718
List Price: £7.85

Anne Woodley is an Amazon top 500 reviewer as well as the patroness of Janeites, the Internet discussion, as well as mistress of the Regency Ring. Her excellent page, The Regency Collection is a treasure trove of information.

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Capt Gronow and Sir Harry Smith Write their Memoirs

Captain Gronow:
His Reminiscences of Regency and Victorian Life, 1810-60
By Christopher Hibbit


This is a very difficult book to review as I liked it a lot, but I still have a number of reservations about it – mostly about its editing.

First, let me tell you about Captain Gronow – he was one of life’s observers, and might have slipped through history with only the vaguest of mentions in a few diaries had he not needed to resort to his pen in the 1860’s in order to support himself. He wrote four books which were stacked to the gunnels with anecodotes, slanderous stories and all sorts of gossipy snippets. These were snapped up by his Victorian audience who were keen to read about the sinful vagaries of that bygone era, the Regency.

Christopher Hibbert has done a pretty good job in collecting together some of the better stories and putting them into this one volume. He has also created some sense to the mass of stories by organising them into chapters. These chapters include subject headings like “The Prince Regent, His Family and Friends” and “Rakes, Dandies and Men about Town”. So it makes it an easy volume to browse for those of you reading this for fun.

There are a few things with this book that I do find difficult. The first is that Hibbert never questions the veracity of what Gronow says. There are several apocryphal stories in here which Gronow tells (the one of Brummell’s aunt being milkmaid is one which springs instantly to mind) – which I feel, as the editor, Hibbert should have at least footnoted. Gronow was writing up to 50 years after events, he certainly could not have recalled all the detail and I think that makes it vitally important that the editor check the facts. Indeed, it is probable that Gronow lifted this story straight out of the pages of Brummell’s first biographer – Captain Jesse – anyway.

Secondly – Hibbert should have checked the dates. Gronow mixes up the dates of the battles of Nive and Nivelle. An easy thing to check, and it is not like Hibbert doesn’t know his Peninsular War detail.

Thirdly – while most of Hibbert’s footnoted descriptions of Regency People are very good and succinct – he does make at least one mistake mixing up Frances, Lady Jersey with her daughter in law, Sarah, Lady Jersey.

I certainly do feel that of all the edited volumes of Gronow’s books to come out so far, Hibbert’s is definitely the best. However, unless you have a plethora of Regency Books yourself and understand the times well it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun reading Gronow without a editor to explain some of the events and people Gronow is gossiping about.

Also worth reading: Regency Recollections: Captain Gronow’s Guide to Life in London and Paris

Publisher: Trafalgar Square
ISBN: 1856260135

The Autobiography of Sir Harry Smith 1787-1819

The Autobiography of Harry Smith was written, by his own admission in the same way he lived his life – at a gallop. It is wonderful that they have republished this book because it was first released around the turn of 1900 and so was desparately difficult to get a hold of.

This book is the first, and best volume, of the two that were published posthumously. They cover his military life as an officer in the 95th Regiment from his first disastorous expedition to South America when he was still a teenager through his years campaigning on the Peninsular War (1808-1814), Waterloo and the occupation of France.

His writing style, while stilted to modern ears, does not take long to learn to enjoy and he packs his book with hundreds of anecdotes of various army characters and snippets of life. He is just so good humoured and his stories so energetic without malice that you cannot help but enjoy him.

I know Harry Smith best for his highly romantic and impetuous marriage to a young Spanish girl, following the seige of Badajoz in 1812. Their life together, and her rapid adjustment to the harsh realities of campaigning were fascinating enough to be the subject of at least one historical novel, Georgette Heyer’s book “The Spanish Bride” – but I think I liked reading the original story in Harry and Juana’s word’s better.

There are other truly wonderful biographies from officers of the 95th (which was later called ‘The Rifle Brigade’) in the Peninsular War also available from Amazon, including George Simmon’s, A British Rifleman and John Kincaid’s, Adventures in the Rifle Brigade. But Harry Smith is a gem.

Publisher: Constable
ISBN: 0094797404

Anne Woodley is an Amazon top 500 reviewer as well as the patroness of Janeites, the Internet discussion, as well as mistress of the Regency Ring. Her excellent page, The Regency Collection is a treasure trove of information.