by Gary Menchen ©2003-2016 by Gary Menchen, all rights reserved. Please click on the link to send comments, suggestions etc.
Introduction Memoirs General Histories Studies Fiction
This bibliography of books related to the Peninsular War in Spain and Portugal, 1808-1814, is based on citations I collected over a decade ago. I've done some cleanup, added some links that may be useful, and increased the total number of entries; there are nearly 480 different titles in 685 editions listed. There are nearly a hundred links to the full text of older books.
My main area of interest lies with the memoirs and studies written by participants, and that is reflected in the listings. The Peninsular War was the first major military campaign where there are a really large number of memoirs, as well as collections of letters, written by participants. The length of the campaign, the literacy of many of the participants, and its generally acknowledged importance all contributed to this. The best of the memoirs were written by young officers (Grattan, Kincaid, Shearer) or literate enlisted soldiers (the anonymous soldier of the 71st; Harris, Wheeler).
Only books in English are included; there are some translations, primarily from the French. Its worth noting that Conan Doyle thought that the best of the memoirs were written by the French; he thought that Marbot's Adventures were "the first of all soldier books in the world".
Sources include book dealer catalogs (which shows how long ago this project was started), library catalogs, my own modest collections, and works cited by authors writing on the subject. One consequence of this approach is that I have not physically examined all of the entries. I will note as a warning that, for example, Charles Oman's book Wellington's Army contains what one would expect to be an authoritative listing of memoirs; even there I sometimes find discrepancies between the listing and the actual book when available to me.
Links that may be available include
Reprints from the various print-on-demand type publishers are generally not included.
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