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A Peer Among Princes (Hardback)

The Life of Thomas Graham, Victor of Barrosa, Hero of the Peninsular War

Military > Biographies Military > Pre-WWI > Napoleonic > Peninsular War

By Philip Grant
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 226
Illustrations: 20
ISBN: 9781526745415
Published: 28th May 2019


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Sir Thomas Graham, Lord Lynedoch, is best known for his exceptional military career. He was one of the Duke of Wellington’s ablest lieutenants during the Peninsular War – he won a great victory against the French at the Battle of Barrosa, conducted the siege of San Sebastian and acted as the duke’s second in command. But he was much more than a soldier – he had broad interests as a wealthy and innovative Scottish landowner, politician, sportsman and traveller. He was a remarkable man of his age, and Philip Grant’s biography, the first to be published in recent times, does justice to his remarkable life and reputation.

Graham only took up his military career in 1792 when he was outraged by the violation of his wife’s coffin by French revolutionaries. He determined to fight them and he raised his own regiment to do so, soon establishing himself as an outstanding leader and field commander. He saw action at Toulon, made a daring escape from the siege of Mantua, served in Malta and Egypt and with Sir John Moore during the Corunna campaign. He eventually rose to the highest rank.

Philip Grant describes Graham’s long and varied life in absorbing detail, often quoting from his vivid letters and diaries.

Grant does a good job of explaining the events and background in Graham’s life, the writing is clear and detailed.

Napoleonic Historical Society

... this is a very worthwhile book to purchase on another figure whose role is overshadowed by that of The Great Duke.

Waterloo Journal, Autumn 2019 - reviewed by John Morewood

Both for the engrossing subject matter and the quality of the writing, this book is well worth acquiring.

Read the full review here

1/72 Scale Plastic Napoleonic Figures

A Peer among Princes is an outstanding and long overdue biography of a key player in the British Army. Although the author has written it to appeal to those with only a passing
interest in the Napoleonic Era, it contains enough detailed information on the British Army to keep the interest of those who specialize in the Napoleonic Wars. Highly recommended.

Read the full review here

The Napoleon Series

This is the first biography in 60 years of the relatively unknown General Sir Thomas Graham. It is written with shrewdness, admiration and in a brisk, conversational style by a former officer of Graham’s descendant regiment and is beautifully illustrated.

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The Spectator (online & print), 7th September 2019 – reviewed by Allan Mallinson

His story is absorbing, well told by the author and supported by a full colour photo-plate section. A must read book for all enthusiasts of the era.

Read the full review here


This is very worthwhile book to purchase on another figure whose role is overshadowed by that of the great duke.

John Morewood, Waterloo Association

The author has had access to family and regimental papers. The book is beautifully illustrated and a map showing the battlefield at Barrosa by Graham’s Aide de Camp appears for the first time.

Friends Of Waterloo Committee

About Philip Grant

Philip Grant was born in Edinburgh and, from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, was commissioned into The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), serving with them until their disbandment in 1968. The rest of his army career culminated as a staff officer at the army headquarters in Scotland. He made regular contributions to his regiment's journal, The Covenanter, with historical essays on a wide variety of subjects including Thomas Graham. More recently he has travelled widely in his research of Graham's life including in Scotland, France, Spain and Italy.

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