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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

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George Robert Gleig : The Subaltern

Uvedale Price to Elizabeth Barrett, 20 December 1826: 'I will ask you [...] whether you have ever read the Subaltern? It is said, by military men to be a very exact as well as lively account of the D. of Wellington's campaign in the Pyrenees [...] a great part of it is interesting even to so unmilitary a man as myself [...] the whole account of the attack & capture of St Sebastian at the beginning of the work, is most striking in all its circumstances and & all its detail [goes on to make detailed commentary, focusing especially upon description of thunderstorm in chapter 3]'.

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Uvedale Price      Print: Book


Gleig : 'The Subaltern'

From John Wilson Croker's notes on conversations with the Duke of Wellington at Beaudesert: '"The Subaltern" [Mr Gleig's book, which I [Croker] had brought with me and lent the Duke, who had not before seen it] is all true enough. Two points which fell under my own personal view are quite so. I mean the scene in which he describes my meeting his regiment, and my rallying the army after Sir John Hope was wounded. But the Subaltern talks too much of his own personal comforts, and too little of his men; if you believe him implicitly, you would imagine that he thought of nothing but his own dinner; but this is the usual fault of journalizers, who are naturally struck with what concerns one's self; and in fact, a subaltern in an army can in general have little else to tell. I hope, and indeed know, that the regimental officers were in general much more attentive to the comforts of their men than the Subaltern tells us; but he is a clever, observing man, and I shall enquire about him.'

Century: 1800-1849     Reader/Listener/Group: Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington      


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