IT is many years since an attempt has been made inEngland to deal with the general history of thePeninsular War. Several interesting and valuable diariesor memoirs of officers who took part in the great strugglehave been published of late
, but no writer of thepresent generation has dared to grapple with the detailsof the whole of the seven years of campaigning that liebetween the
and Toulouse. Napier's splendidwork has held the field for sixty years. Meanwhile anenormous bulk of valuable material has been accumulating in English, French, and Spanish, which has practically remained unutilized.' Papers, public and private,are accessible whose existence was not suspected in the'thirties; an infinite number of autobiographies andreminiscences which have seen the light after fifty orsixty years of repose in some forgotten drawer, haveserved to
in our knowledge. At leastone formal history of the first importance, that of General Arteche y Moro, has been published. I fancythat its eleven volumes are practically unknown inEngland, yet it is almost as valuable as Toreno's
Guerrade Ia Independencia
in enabling us to understand thepurely Spanish side of the war.I trust therefore that it will not be considered presumptuous for one who has been working for some tenor fifteen years at the original se arces to endeavour to
I need only mention the diaries of Sir Harry Smitit, Blakeney, Shaw,and Tomkinson on our side, and Foy's private diary and the Memoirs of Funtin des Odoards, St. Chamans, and Thie'bault on the French.