19 May 2004
DUKE OF WELLINGTON
Sir Arthur CONAN DOYLE. Autograph exercise book entitled 'Wellington & his comrades', containing Conan Doyle's notes on the personalities and characteristics of the first Duke of Wellington and his generals including Hill, Combermere, Beresford, Lynedoch, Sir Thomas Picton and Robert Crauford, an epitome of facts and ideas about the war in the Peninsula and the battle of Waterloo including the uniforms, weaponry and horses, 46 pages plus blanks, 4to.
Conan Doyle notes Wellington's comments after Talavera 'The men were starving. They begged to be allowed to fight because "When engaged they forgot their hunger"'; and Wellington on the French army 'Napoleon's troops were most excellent ... their officers were very good ... All the intellects of the Nation went into the army'.
The notebook dates form the late 1880s - early 1890s when Conan Doyle was studying the Napoleonic period in great detail. The first novel to reflect this interest was The Great Shadow written between April and June 1892.
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