An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french


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Each month we present an important recent book, and every week we report on recent publications.
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MCDOUALL John , Narrative of a Voyage to Patagonia and Terra del Fuego: Through the Straits of Magellan, in HMS Adventure and Beagle, in 1826 and 1827

Description: From the publishers:

On 22 May 1826, HMS Beagle left Plymouth Sound on her maiden voyage, accompanying HMS Adventure to Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego to survey the Strait of Magellan. Years later, Royal Naval officer John Macdouall (fl.1820-30) proclaimed himself 'one whose visit to Port Famine, and sometime residence on that inhospitable coast, have left no wish of re-visiting it, really or metaphorically'. Nevertheless, his first-hand account of the first nineteen months of the Beagle's voyage, originally published in 1833, is a highly entertaining read. With an amusing combination of self-deprecation and caustic observation, and in preference to 'the trouble of detailing the monotonous course of a long sea voyage', Macdouall relates anecdotes about life aboard ship and the peoples and places encountered. While unforgiving of 'absurd' Spanish customs and 'national indolence', and Rio de Janeiro's 'bowing hypocritical Portuguese', he offers a generally kinder portrait of Fuegian and Patagonian 'savages'.

Place and publisher: Cambridge: CUP

Date of publication: 2013

This week’s book(s):

From the Publishers:
"The 12th Light Dragoons served throughout Wellington's campaigns in the Peninsula, most notably at the Battle of Salamanca in 1812, and later at Waterloo where they suffered heavy casualties supporting the Union Brigade's famous charge. The principal source for this book are the papers of Sir James Steaurt – Colonel of the regiment for almost all of the period in question – supplemented by other regimental records, Horse Guards paperwork, and letters and memoirs, allowing both an official understanding of events, and several threads of human interest which develop through the narrative.
The book is divided into two halves, first providing an overview of the regiment and the role of Steuart as Colonel, before moving onto an account of the regiment on home service during the early years of the Napoleonic Wars and then on active service in the Peninsular War and at Waterloo. This concludes with a discussion of the lessons learnt during the war, as particularly exemplified by the 12th being one of the regiments selected for conversion to lancers in the aftermath of Waterloo".

Review of Andrew Bamford's "Gallantry and Discipline" by Mark Simner, author and historian of British  military history.

Place and publisher: Pen and the Sword, London

Date of publication: 2014

Number of pages: 306

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