Author: Pakenham, Eliza
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: As New
Jacket Condition: As New
Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall
New book, 269 pages. Embedded in the upper echelons of society in England and Ireland at the turn of the 19th Century, the Pakenham family, Earls of Longford, kept extensive records of the minutiae of their day-to-day lives in Pakenham Hall, their home in Ireland. As generals and admirals they fought and died in battles far from home and as politicians they participated in the political battles of the day. The voices and personalities which emerge from this unique archive give us an intimate account of a family set against the backdrop of Napoleon's rise and fall. Women write to each other about family gossip and national affairs, about Kitty Packenham's brother scorning the young Wellington's proposal (they eventually married), and later about his infidelities. Ever constant in their letters are their hopes and fears for their husbands and brothers and sons. Around them swirl the noises of war, in the conflicts of the French Invasion of 1798, the bloody sieges and battles of the Peninsular War, and the disastrous defeat at New Orleans. From the ships, regimental headquarters and battlefield billets, men write home with details of their exploits and their hopes for peace. Following the fortunes of this Napoleonic generation, we understand what it is like to live in times of peace and war, of the pain of bereavement, the shifting sands of political allegience and the constant search for preferment to augment the family interest.