The Road to the Lion’s Mound 1769 – 1815


‘I always say that next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained.’
Duke of Wellington, just after the Battle of Waterloo

‘I hope to God… that I have fought my last battle. It is a bad thing to be always fighting. While in the thick of it, I am much too occupied to feel anything, but it is wretched just after. It is quite impossible to think of glory. Both mind and feelings are exhausted. I am wretched even at the moment of victory, and I always say that next to a battle lost, the greatest misery is a battle gained. Not only do you lose those dear friends with whom you have been living, but you are forced to leave the wounded behind you. To be sure one tries to do the best for them, but how little that is! At such moments every feeling in your breast is deadened. I am now just beginning to retain my natural spirits, but I never wish for any more fighting.’
Duke of Wellington, a few days after a battle of Waterloo in conversation with Lady Shelley

‘I was a dreamy, idle and shy lad.’
Wellington on his youth and studies at Eton

‘All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour, to find out what you don’t know by what you do, that’s what I call guessing what was on the other side of the hill.’
Wellington to his friend J.W. Croker in 1852

‘They planned (French Marshals) their campaigns just as you might make a splendid piece of harness. It looks very well, and answers very well, until it gets broken, and then you are done for. Now I make my campaigns of ropes. If anything went wrong, I tied a knot and went on.’
Wellington on the Peninsular War

‘Our battle on the 18th [of June] was one of the most important and, as you yourself know, was absolute. God has hitherto been well-disposed to me and I shall not want to ever fight again, for I am crushed by the loss of my long-time friends and acquaintances.’
From letter to Prince Schwarzenberg after the battle of Waterloo.

‘I do not wish to cast any reflection upon the officer who led the picquets [Colonel Orrok]. I lament the consequences of his mistake, but I must acknowledge that it was not possible for a man to lead a body into a hotter fire than he did the picquets on that day at Assaye.’
Wellington on the Colonel Orrock’ mistake at the battle of Assaye, India, in 1803

‘Strange impressions come now and then after a battle, and such came to me after the battle of Assaye in India. I slept in a farmyard, and whenever I awaked, it struck me that I had lost all my friends, so many had I lost in that battle. Again and again, as often as I awaked, did it disturb me. In the morning I inquired anxiously after one and another, nor was I convinced that they were living till I saw them.’
Wellington after the battle of Assaye

‘He never made a difficulty or hid his ignorance in vague generalities. If I put a question to him, he answered it distinctly, if I wanted an explanation, he gave it clearly, if I desired an opinion I got from him one supported by reasons that were always sound.’
William Pitt the Younger, British Prime Minister, on Wellington

‘It’s up to you again to save the world.’
Russian Tsar Alexander I to Wellington before the battle of Waterloo. I would use also this one.

‘I am among a people mad with joy for their deliverance from their oppressors. God send that my good fortune may continue, and that I may be the instrument of securing their independence and happiness.’
Wellington on Liberating Madrid in 1812

‘Ld. Wellington is acting upon the plans of Comte la Lippe [William, Count of Schaumburg-Lippe]… Demonstration will be made along the Douro. Ld. Wellington’s attention will be drawn to prevent the passage of the enemy there.’
Colonel John McMahon on Wellington’s defense of Portugal in 1810

In regard to Wellington’s opinion of Archduke Charles’ commanding capabilities, the following and extremely interesting discussion that Wellington enthusiastically led with his friend John Croker in the 1820s is very telling: “(Croker): He (Wellington) quoted the Archduke Charles’s book, and I asked whether the Archduke was really a great officer? (Wellington): “A great officer? Why, he knows more about it than all of us put together.”(Croker): “What than Buonaparte… or yourself? (Wellington): “Aye! Than Buonaparte or any of us. We are none of us worthy to fasten the latchets of his shoes, if I am to judge from his book and his plans of campaign. But his mind or his health has, they tell me, a very peculiar defect. He is admirable for five or six hours, and whatever can be done in that time will be done perfectly, but after that he falls into a kind of epileptic stupor, does not know what he is about, has no opinion of his own, and does whatever the man at his elbow tells him.”
Wellington’s conversation with John Croker in the 1820s

Title Wellington

Subtitle The Road to the Lion’s Mound 1769-1815

Author  Daniel Res

Publisher Amerigo Citadelle

ISBN 978-8-080731127

Formats Hardback with sleeve

RRP £30.00

Release date 30th September 2020

BIC #Biography #History #Military #18C #19C #NapoleonicWars #BiritishArmy

Readership General, Academic

Sales and distribution 

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