I would advise that anyone wanting further details of the battle itself shouldn't bank on this book providing them as there is comparatively very little coverage in this book. Unhappily married, he had several mistresses and many intimate friendships with women. He died on 21 December 2008, in Henley, from at the age of 84. Hibbert's contribution to a crowded field of biographies is to delve into that personality with both enthusiasm and some intellectual discipline in order to put a human face on a distant historical figure. That statement needs qualifying, however. In domestic life, he seems to have married the woman he did for some reason best known to himself, and the author, as it is far from a match made in heaven.
Wellington's marriage was unhappy and distant and he became a widower at a fairly young age. Celebrated for his sardonic humor A brilliant general, remembered most for his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Wellington was also a politician of commanding presence. Some extraordinary mistakes by Napoleon, and poor leadership by subordinates on the field itself, combined with the sheer determination of the Prussians to get there in time to play a decisive role, turned what might have been calamitous defeat into a victory that gave Wellington the glorious reputation that he has held ever since. His later brilliant generalship fighting the French in Spain and his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo earned him a dukedom and the award of Apsley House No. In any case, his military career was by no means his only career.
A brilliant general, remembered most for his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Wellington was also a politician of commanding presence. The private side of the public man has never been so richly delineated as in this masterly biography. That makes it all the more remarkable that in one man, Wellington, Britain produced an unusually successful general, one who never lost a battle. His relationships, alleged or otherwise, with various women, play a prominent part in Hibbert's treatment. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. He was cremated, after a ceremony in Oxford, on 2 January 2009.
. Bookseller: , South Yorkshire, United Kingdom Da Capo Press. Wellington achieved fame as a soldier fighting the Mahratta in India. The possibility of service in America during the American Revolution was mentioned, but did not occur. As I made my very enjoyable progress through it though, I found that there was so much more to him than I, for one, thought. Still, Hibbert does a deft job of marshaling facts and anecdotes. His later brilliant generalship fighting the French in Spain was rewarded by a dukedom and a grant from the house of Commons which would today be worth some 8 million.
Before becoming a full-time nonfiction writer, he worked as a real estate agent and a television critic for Truth magazine. Hibbert's book gives a brilliant overview of the life of a man, who was both Britain's hero, and, occasionally, anti-hero. Indeed, he often displayed generosity, especially towards children. He dropped out of Oriel College to join the Army. The glory which he won at Waterloo was merely a stepping stone to higher service. These facts caused him to seek and enjoy the companionship of many women through his lifetime.
He then chose to plunge into politics, eventually becoming prime minister, in 1827. Those who knew Arthur Wellesley early in his life predicted that he would be both a great general and the prime minister of Britain—if he lived. Hibbert covers Wellington's campaigns with speed and clarity but plunges with enthusiasm into Wellington's years at the center of British politics. The 25-pages I read were excruciating. He was educated at , before he went up to at the. He fought for the Crown in India before his first encounter with Napoleon's armies in Portugal and Spain during the Peninsular War.
As a diplomat, as prime minister from 1828 to 1830, as senior advisor to successive governments and commander-in-chief of the army, Wellington expected deference, and developed an increasingly impervious faith in his own judgments. Once into adulthood though, things quickly start to get going for him, with a rapid rise through the ranks of the army - in amongst an entry into public life - leading to something else I didn't know, that he was a member of parliament as well as the commander of forces at Waterloo. Unlike other biographies I have on Wellington, which give more details of his public actions, after reading this I feel I have really got to know the man behind the public mask. Despite his dominant conservatism, Wellington was flexible enough to adjust to prevailing necessities. In the meantime, his wife passes away before him and he becomes more reclusive, and of course more old and frail. With conservative small 'C' political views, Wellington played a major part in British politics under several monarchs until his death. Celebrated for his sardonic humor and savage rages which alternated with irresistible charm, he concealed a deep humanity behind a veneer of aloofness that gained him the sobriquet, the Iron Duke.
Wellington eventually went deaf, and in his 70s he rolled about in his saddle to the alarm of people who thought he would fall from his horse, as he frequently did. My only disappointment in this book, as minor as it is, is that it is so personal that one gets a sense of his times only indirectly. Privately, he was unhappily married, and had several mistresses including two of Napoleon's and many intimate friendships with women. We hear though that he carries a supply of coins and ribbons to give to the many people, notably old soldiers who 'remember him from the old days'. Nor did Wellington wax sentimental over the men in his ranks. His status as an archetype nevertheless endured until his death--and even longer in an army that required the multiple shocks of the Crimean War to begin modifying the Iron Duke's presumed legacy.