Under current restrictions, our shops are closed to the public, but we are still processing online, telephone and email orders as normal.

NAPIER, William Francis Patrick.

History of the War in the Peninsula

and in the South of France, from the year 1807 to the Year 1814 …

London: John Murray for the first volume and subsequently Thomas & William Boone, 1828-40 Stock Code: 135880
Reserve Ask us a question

"one of the finest military histories published in England"

First editions of the first volume and last three; the other two being second editions. The first volume was published by Murray, who decided not to exercise his option on the next three having made a considerable loss, Napier therefore published the rest of the history through Boone having raised the money by subscriptions. Napier's work certainly divided opinion. "Soult considered it 'perfect', Sir Robert Peel 'eloquent and faithful', the Spanish general Alava felt it too pro-French, and a British officer in India demanded satisfaction on his return for a 'most unfounded calumny' about his conduct at Barossa" (ODNB) As a result most volumes are prefixed with "justificatory pieces" in answer to Napier's critics. His controversy with Beresford over Albuera was particularly rancourous. Perhaps judgement is best left to the acknowledged master chronicler of the conflict, Sir Charles Oman, who described Napier's work as "magnificent (if somewhat prejudiced and biased)". A well-preserved set in a handsome Regency binding.

Confused? Read our glossary


6 volumes, octavo (214 x 130 mm) Contemporary full calf, green morocco lettering- and numbering-pieces, broad flat bands, gilt, double gilt fillet panels to the boards enclosing palmette roll in blind, zig-zag roll in gilt to the board edges, Gloster marble to edges and endpapers, dark brown silk page-markers to all but the last volume.


55 engraved battle plans.


Just a little rubbed, light browning to the text-blocks, some foxing particularly to the plans, overall very good.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book