Beresford’s ‘Refutation of Napier’s Justification of his third volume’ was the third extensive criticism of Lieutenant-Colonel Napier’s "History of the War in the Peninsula" which aimed to defend the reputation and actions of Beresford. The first, ‘Strictures,’ was published anonymously following the publication of Napier’s second volume in 1829, which was particularly critical of Marshal Beresford.
The second, ‘Further Strictures,’ was also published anonymously in 1832 in response to further criticisms in Napier’s third volume with regard Beresford’s campaign in southern Spain (including the battle of Albuera).
Napier published replies to both these anonymous attacks, the second being his ‘Justification of his third Volume.’
The subsequent, third attack on Napier’s History came from Beresford himself, although it is strongly believed that he also had a hand in the two earlier anonymous pamphlets. "A Refutation of Napier’s Justification of his third volume" was originally published in 1834. The bulk of its 250 pages is related to the campaign in Southern Spain in 1811 in which Beresford held an independent command. His operations, in command of a combined British, Portuguese and Spanish army, against Marshal Soult had been subjected to many criticisms, particularly his actions at the battle of Albuera in May 1811. Detailed discussions of this battle form an important part of this pamphlet. Many fascinating details of this campaign, which cannot be found elsewhere, are contained in this ‘Refutation,’ and the previous publications.
As with the previous strictures, Napier published a reply to Beresford’s Refutation. I have also included this, so that you can see both sides of the arguments being put forward. Both of these documents are very rare and you are unlikely to find them bound together anywhere else.
Printed and bound by hand. No more than 100 copies will be made. Approximately 280 pages in length.
Price £45 Sterling. ISBN 0-09522930-3-X
Copyright © December 2002 Mark S Thompson