Wellington: A Personal History

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Addison-Wesley, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 460 pages
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The Duke of Wellington's funeral in 1852, attended by monarchs and statesmen from all over the world, was a superb piece of pageantry as well as the end of an era. "Since the Duke's death", wrote Charles Greville in his diary five weeks later, "I have nothing worth writing about". A brilliant general, remembered most for his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, Wellington was also a politician of commanding presence. Elected Prime Minister in 1827, he was an influential adviser to King George IV, William IV, and Queen Victoria, and became deeply involved in all the major scandals of the time, delighting in mixing himself up in other people's affairs. Wellington's public achievements are of lasting significance, but the private man has never been so richly delineated as in Christopher Hibbert's masterly new biography. Celebrated for his sardonic humor, curt comments, and savage rages alternating with irresistible charm, Wellington concealed a deep humanity behind a veneer of hard and intimidating aloofness with strangers and undesired acquaintances that gained him the sobriquet, "the Iron Duke". Unhappily married, he took great pleasure in female company, and enjoyed numerous innocent flirtations as well as adulterous and torrid liaisons, and long and platonic friendships with actresses and courtesans, duchesses, and ladies of fashion.

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WELLINGTON: A Personal History

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

The prolific Hibbert (Nelson: A Personal History, 1994, etc.) offers a lively if unsurprising portrait of a contentious hero. Arthur Wellesley, later to become the duke of Wellington, took to the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - billiecat - LibraryThing

A nice biography by Christopher Hibbert. Although Hibbert disclaims any "in depth" coverage of Wellington's military and political careers, most readers should find what he offers more than sufficient ... Read full review


An Officer in the 33rd 178793
The First Campaign 17945

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About the author (1997)

Christopher Hibbert: March 5, 1924 -- December 21, 2008 Historian Christopher Hibbert was born as Arthur Raymond Hibbert in Enderby, England in 1924. He dropped out of Oriel College to join the Army. He served with the London Irish Rifles and won the Military Cross. He earned a degree in history in 1948. Before becoming a full-time nonfiction writer, he worked as a real estate agent and a television critic for Truth magazine. He wrote more than 60 books throughout his lifetime including The Road to Tyburn (1957), Il Duce: The Life of Benito Mussolini(1962), George IV: Prince of Wales, 1762-1811 (1972), and George IV: Regent and King, 1812-1830 (1973). Hibbert was awarded the Heinemann Award for Literature in 1962 for The Destruction of Lord Raglan. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Geographical Society, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Literature by the University of Leicester. He died from bronchial pneumonia on December 21, 2008 at the age of 84.

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