The Exploits of Ensign Bakewell (ePub)
With the Inniskillings in the Peninsula, & in Paris, 1811-11: 1815
A first-hand account of several engagements in the Peninsula after the advance from the Lines of Torres Vedras and pursuit of Masséna, and including the first siege of Badajoz, edited from the original manuscript and with a explanatory commentary and notes by Ian Robertson, an experienced author well-acquainted with both the period and the scenes of action.
Fills a gap in the history of the Inniskillings, the years 1812 to 1814 only being covered in Charles Crowe’s war Journals, recently published by Frontline Books as ‘An Eloquent Soldier’.
Describes the French flight from Waterloo and – rarely revealed before – the life of a young officer in a promiscuous Paris during the earlier weeks of the Occupation.
Contains numerous contemporary illustrations on 16 pages many not previously published.
Laced with humour and irony - although often touchingly naive - Bakewell's accounts of his marches , the actions in which he participated, and the privations he suffered, have an immediacy that endears him to the reader, and provides - as few historians can - the sense of actually 'being there'. This is a valuable contribution to the number of Peninsular War narratives which have come to light in recent decades.The Inniskillings Museum
Within a few pages I was hooked and thoroughly enjoyed his diaries and learnt much that was new to me. I always say that every memoir brings something new to our understanding of the times and actions in which these soldiers participated. Bakewell proves this to be correct on numerous occasions, as although bereft of much description of the fighting, he supplies a huge amount of material on what was then the mundane, but which is to both modern military and social historians a real treasure trove, a rare and important glimpse into their real world. Some of these are a sheer delight. Robert Bakewell’s diaries are a joy and we should all be grateful to Ian Robertson for rediscovering them and editing them so masterfully. Ian has provided a number of interesting footnotes and has woven the original disjointed and over fussy text into a little masterpiece, which shines a real light on the life of a subaltern at this time. I do not hesitate to thoroughly recommend it.Gareth Glover, The Napoleon Series
Fills a gap in the history of the Inniskillings, the years 1812 to 1814 only being covered in Charles Crowe’s war Journals, recently published by Frontline Books as ‘An Eloquent Soldier’. Describes the French flight from Waterloo and – rarely revealed before – the life of a young officer in a promiscuous Paris during the earlier weeks of the Occupation. Contains numerous contemporary illustrations on 16 pages many not previously published.Warfare
It is a tribute to Robertson's editing that this work reads smoothly and that, though he admits Bakewell is no stylist, he appears to remain reasonably true to the original prose, giving us an unvarnished tale with a minimum of editorial interference. His footnotes, though very informative, are judicious and not intrusive. Readers may take Bakewell as he is, unadorned, and they can rest assured that he has not manipulated his story to please us.The Irish Sword
A great find this book should be on every Napoleonic enthusiasts shelf. Ian Robertson has found a little gem of a memoir, Ensign Bakewell of the 27th Regiment in the Peninsular has loads of small details about everyday life in the Peninsular. Bakewell has a attention to detail of dates and distances and an eye for the ladies.Vic Powell, Portsmouth Napoleonic Society
It also features a great section on the pursuit of the French following Waterloo. Well recommended not to be missed book.
In 1809 French armies controlled almost every province of Spain and only Wellington's small force in Portugal stood between Napoleon and the conquest of Iberia. The French invaded Portugal in the summer of 1810 but found their way blocked by the most extensive field fortifications the world had ever seen – the Lines of Torres Vedras. Unable to penetrate the Lines, the French were driven back into Spain having suffered the heaviest defeat yet experienced by Napoleon's armies. The retreat from Portugal marked the turning point in the Peninsular War and, from the security of the Lines, Wellington…By John Grehan
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