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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
£1,500.00

"one of the finest military histories published in England"

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Notes

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.

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Description

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.

Illustrations

55 engraved battle plans.

Condition

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

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