Wellington's Right Hand

Wellington's Right Hand : Rowland, Viscount Hill

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One of the most unlikely soldiers of his day, General Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill of Almarez was imaginative, brave - and perhaps more surprisingly for the period in which he lived and fought - compassionate towards those under his command. This is the compelling story of one of history's forgotten heroes, a man who frequently led from the front in some of the deadliest battles of the Napoleonic Wars. Hill was given his own `detached' corps and fought his way through Spain, Portugal and France, winning battles against the odds - such at St Pierre, where he defeated the redoubtable Marechal Soult when outnumbered two to one. When ministers at home asked that Hill be allowed to leave the Peninsula and lead an army elsewhere, Wellington dismissed the idea with `Would you cut off my right hand?'
Hill fought at Rolica, Corunna, Talavera, Bussaco, Almarez, Vitoria and Waterloo. He succeeded the Duke in 1828 as Commander-in-Chief of the forces and served as such until he resigned in 1842, a period marked by civil unrest that he reluctantly was obliged to confront. Based upon the Hill papers and a wide range of other primary sources, Wellington's Right Hand is an important addition to the literature of the Napoleonic age and in particular to that of the Peninsular War.

Writer and historian Joanna Hill is the great, great, great niece of Rowland Hill and as such has gained unique access to the Hill family archives. In April 2005, she published her first book on the Hill family, The Hills of Hawkstone and Attingham; the Rise, Shine and Decline of a Shropshire Family.
Serendipity has sometimes led her life in the footsteps of her illustrious ancestor While working at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University's post graduate department for the history of art and archaeology, she spent three very hot seasons excavating in the Nile Delta of Egypt, a few kilometres from the site of one of the General's very first battles, at Aboukir in 1801. She currently lives with her husband (and an international champion Skye terrier, Dougal) in a 13th-century hilltop bastide village in South West France. This is just a short distance north of St Pierre d'Irube at the foot of the Pyrenees, where Rowland Hill won his very own general action in the closing stages of the Peninsular War in December 1813. When the victorious British cavalry rode home through France from Toulouse to the channel ports in May the following year, they must have passed by.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 158 x 238 x 28mm | 598.74g
  • The History Press Ltd
  • Stroud, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0752459171
  • 9780752459172
  • 950,819

Review quote

"An informative biography with good perspective on the Peninsular Wars." --Library Journal
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About Joanna Hill

JOANNA HILL is the author of The Hills of Hawkstone and Attingham: The Rise, Shine and Decline of a Shropshire Family and A Very Canny Scot: 'Great' Daniel Campbell of Shawfield and Islay 1670-1753. She spent several years working for the Institute of Fine Arts in New York, allowing her to spend three seasons excavating in Egypt. She is the great, great, great niece of Lord Hill and as such has unique access to the family papers. She lived at Hawkstone, Lord Hill's estate, as a child. She now lives in France.
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