Catherine Exley's Diary

Catherine Exley's Diary : The Life and Times of an Army Wife in the Peninsular War

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"Catherine Exley was born in Leeds in 1779. Aged thirty, she boarded a ship and sailed for Portugal. Her memoir of the years she spent following the 34th Regiment is unique, the only first-hand account of the Peninsular War by the wife of a common British soldier. Published shortly after her death as a booklet which has since been lost, Catherine s Diary survived in a local newspaper of 1923 to be rediscovered by her great-great-great-grandson. It is difficult today to comprehend the hardships Catherine endured: of her twelve children, three died as infants while with her on the march; her clothes, covered with filth and vermin, often went unchanged for weeks at a time, and she herself more than once almost died from illness and starvation; shocked at the mutilation inflicted by muskets and cannons, she still had the composure to manhandle blackened corpses upon a battlefield in search of her missing husband when hardened soldiers could no longer stomach the task. Her diary is reproduced here along with chapters which bear upon Catherine s experiences in Spain and Portugal, and which put her life and writings in their social context."

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  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 126 x 198 x 16mm | 160g
  • Takeaway (Publishing)
  • KenilworthUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 6 black and white photographs, 3 black and white maps
  • 095638479X
  • 9780956384799
  • 1,808,190

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