Sources: Corunna 1809 (The Spanish Patriot)

Here are the main historical sources I used when researching the setting for my novel The Spanish Patriot.


Battle of Corunna (Elviña, 1809), – has many subpages, including French, Spanish, and British actions and reactions during the previous campaign

Timeline of the Napoleonic Wars, – includes interactive map with links to descriptions of many aspects of the wars

Waterloo200 – 2015 site commemorating anniversary of that battle also includes objects from the period and a timeline. This was too late for me; I had to start with Wikipedia’s Timeline of the Napoleonic Era

Books, publications

A Cavalry Officer In The Corunna Campaign 1808-1809: The Journal Of Captain Gordon Of The 15th Hussars, by Captain Alexander Gordon (Author), Colonel HC Wylly (Editor) (London: John Murray, 1913) (online at Hathitrust)

Church and Society in Catholic Europe of the Eighteenth Century, edited by William J. Callahan and David Higgs, esp. Ch 3: The Spanish Church (by Callahan) (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008) ISBN 978-0-521-09077-3

Corunna, Christopher Hibbert (New York: Phoenix Paperbacks, 2003, first 1961) ISBN 1-84212-720-9

Corunna 1809: Sir John Moore’s Fighting Retreat, Philip Haythornthwaite, illustrated by Christa Hook (Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2001) ISBN 978-1-85532-968-3

Diary, Reminiscences and Correspondence of Henry Crabb Robinson, ed. by Thomas Sadler (London: Macmillan, 1869) (online at Google Books)

From Corunna to Waterloo: The Letters and Journals of Two Napoleonic Hussars, 1801-1816, Gareth Glover (London: Greenhill Books, 2007) ISBN 978-1-85367-709-0

Ghosts of Spain: Travels through Spain and its silent past, Giles Tremlett (New York: Walker & Co.) ISBN 978-0-8027-1674-3

The History of The Times, vol. 1: “The Thunderer” in the Making (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1935)

Holland House: A History of London’s Most Celebrated Salon, Linda Kelly (London: I.B. Taurus, 2013)

Letters from the Peninsula, 1808-1812, Sir William Warre and Edmond Warre (London: John Murray, 1909) (online at Google Books)

Letters home from Spain, Algeria, and Brazil, during past entomological rambles [With plates], Hamlet Clark (British Library, Historical Print Editions, 1867) (Google Books PDF)

Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World, Maya Jasanoff (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011) ISBN 978-1-4000-4168-8

The Life and Times of Henry Crabb Robinson, Edith J. Morley (New York: AMS Press, 1966, reissued 1970) SBN 404-05368-8

March of Death: Sir John Moore’s Retreat to Corunna, 1808-9, Christopher Summerville (London: Greenhill Books, 2003) ISBN 1-85367-565-4

The March to Corunna, Robert Ker Porter (Leonar/Oakpast Ltd., 2009) ISBN 978-1-84677-923-7

Maria’s Story (Young Americans: Colonial Williamsburg), a novel, Joan Lowery Nixon (Williamsburg: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2001) ISBN 978-0-87935-227-1

Napoleon’s Addresses: Selections from the Proclamations, Speeches, and Correspondence of Napoleon Bonaparte, Ida M. Tarbell, ed. (Boston: Joseph Knight Company, 1896) (online at Wikisource)

Oliver Wiswell, a novel, Kenneth Roberts (Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, 1963, first 1940)

On The Road With Wellington: The Diary Of A War Commissary In The Peninsular Campaigns, August Schaumann (translated from the German; first published in English in London: William Heineman Ltd, 1924)

“Our Young Soldier:” Lieutenant Francis Simcoe 6 June 1791 – 6 April 1812, Mary Beacock Fryer (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1996) ISBN 1-55002-270-9

The Peninsular War, Charles Esdaile (London: Penguin Books, 2002) ISBN 978-0-14-027370-0

The Peninsular War Atlas, Nick Lipscombe (Oxford: Osprey, 2010) ISBM 978-1-84908-364-5

The Printer in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg, 2d ed., August Klapper, Parke Rouse Jr., M.W.Thomas Jr., Thomas K. Ford (Williamsburg: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1958)(pamphlet) ISBN 978-0-910412-20-9

Reporting the Wars, Joseph J. Mathews (Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press, 1957)

Sharpe’s Rifles, a novel, Bernard Cornwell (New York: Penguin Books, 1988) ISBN 0-14- 029429-5

Spain: The Root & the Flower, 3d ed., John A. Crow (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005, first 1963)

The Spanish journal of Elizabeth, Lady Holland, ed. by the Earl of Ilchester (New York: Longmans, Green, 1910) (online at Google Books)

The Spanish Ulcer: A History of the Peninsular War, David Gates (Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press, 1986) ISBN 0-306-81083-2

Tactics and the Experience of Battle in the Age of Napoleon, Rory Muir (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000) ISBN 978-0-300-08270-8

The Times of London, from issues in 1808-9.

“Tracing the Biscuit: The British Commissariat in the Peninsular War,” William Reid, in Militaria, Revista de Cultura Militar, no.7, UCM, Madrid 1995 (online at Dialnet, to download click “texto completo”)

Books & publications I wish I could have found 

Cavalry in the Corunna Campaign – as told in the diary of the Adjutant of the 15th Hussars. [By Charles Jones?] Edited by Major Lord Carnock [Society for Army Historical Research, London. Special Publication. no. 4., 1936]


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  1. Pingback: Remembering the Battle of Corunna - Nicky Penttila

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