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Publisher's Summary

FNH Audio presents a reading of Charles Oman's classic military history A History of the Peninsular War. In this first volume, a detailed examination is made of the first years of the war, 1807 to 1809. The campaign is examined from both sides using reference materials from British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese sources. This book covers the invasion of Spain and Napoleon's trickery in luring the Spanish crown into prison. It also features Wellington's first peninsular battle and of course the famous retreat to Corunna and the battle at that place.

This history, written many years after Napier's, draws its information from more first-hand accounts and corrects some of more glaring mistakes and biases of Napier. Although this audiobook is abridged, the only text removed is a number of the non-English sections of the Appendix, namely sections one, two, three, four, and seven. All English text from the appendices is present.

©2012 FNH (P)2012 FNH

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Keith
  • North Little Rock, AR, United States
  • 01-01-13

Wonderful if you can tolerate the reader

What made the experience of listening to A History of the Peninsular War 1807-1809 the most enjoyable?

Well researched and presented material

How could the performance have been better?

If you could find someone to read the book who doesn't butcher the English language. It is cav-al-ry, not cav-ary and pam-plo-na, not pam-ploo-na. The reader continually mis-pronounces words and it is very annoying.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No way. Couldn't tolerate but a hour or so at a time of the reader, it was very painful at times.

Any additional comments?

Super book, be aware of this reader related to future purchases. Where is Robertson Dean or Michael Kramer when you need them?

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well researched content

Unfortunately impacted by the narrator's atrocious pronouncing of French names.
Is anybody reviewing these priductions before the audio release?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Ignorant Reader Botches Historical Classic

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No, because the reader's total inability to pronounce anything above third-grade vocabulary is extremely distracting. Also, it is a strange choice to have a book that takes place in Spain read by someone with absolutely no clue how to pronounce Spanish--it's so bad that you usually can't tell whom or where he is talking about. He can be funny, though: my favorite was when he rendered "suzerainty" (overlordship) as "super-zanity."

What other book might you compare A History of the Peninsular War 1807-1809 to and why?

"Marlborough, His Life and Times," read by a dyslexic 8-year-old.

Would you be willing to try another one of Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot’s performances?

Only if the alternative was to have my brains pulled out through my nose.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Now on film, because you couldn't stand to listen to the audiobook."

Any additional comments?

A good book ruined by a bad reader. I want my money back.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • Sandston, Va, United States
  • 03-29-13

doesnt translate well into audiobook

Would you recommend A History of the Peninsular War 1807-1809 to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes

Which scene was your favorite?

Battle of Balin and Moore's retreat.

Any additional comments?

This is probably an excellant book but it doesnt translate well into an audiobook. With the obvious removal of maps the casual listener has very little idea where many of these Spanish towns are located in relation to eachother. And therefore cant fully appreciate the hows and whys of military operations in Spain and Portugal.
Still it is an exhaustive, thourough, enjoyable book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very interesting, but the narration distracts

I have enjoyed exploring this part of the Napoleonic Wars. Charles Oman has provided a very thorough treatment of this fascinating period. I do not care at all for how Herriot pronounces names and places. While some of it can be put to me being American, that doesn't explain it all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Academic history at its best

What did you love best about A History of the Peninsular War 1807-1809?

This book is thorough and carefully researched.

What did you like best about this story?

The narrative is carried forward in a straightforward and lucid manner.

Any additional comments?

I am puzzled by some of the other listeners' comments. To begin with you can't expect to listen to a book of history without providing yourself with some maps and doing some basic research on the topic. If that's too hard you should be reading Bernard Cornwell. As for the reader, yes, he has an accent, one that I have heard before, but not in a narrator. It's not BBC standard. However I understood all the words and his voice is pleasant to listen to. I found the pronunciation more amusing than annoying.

Listeners should be aware the book was written a hundred years ago and many of the place names are not on current maps, or are differently spelled and sometimes differently pronounced. Also, the author was British and has a British point of view, although I would say he is fair and honest. There is much detailed description of military unit names and numbers present at certain times. It could all have been left out. Curiously, it has the effect of reinforcing the author's credibility. He did his homework.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Craig
  • Genoa City, WI, United States
  • 04-08-16

Landmark treatise that punches you in the ear.

Would you be willing to try another one of Felbrigg Napoleon Herriot’s performances?

Though I will listen to the rest of this series, I would NOT chose Mr. Herriot's reads due to the fact that he seems incapable of pronouncing much of his own language correctly (Cavalry pronounced with an L so soft it comes out as cavary) and what he does to both French and Spanish names would be comic if it was meant to be parody.

Any additional comments?

If you are interested in the Napoleonic wars, this book is a must. The only real negative is that without a printed copy, you will have a harder time following some of the movements and locations.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too many footnotes

Unfortunately, this is a very dull book. FNH's narration is excellent as usual on this book. Unfortunately, the material itself is wanting. The narrative is constantly interrupted by a barrage of footnotes which do little or nothing for the casual listener and only makes the general flow of the history difficult to follow.

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  • qwerty
  • 02-17-16

A Classic Mauled

A classic work I've longed to hear, absolutely mauled by incompetent narration. I could have wept. Even basic words like catastrophe were mispronounced. The tale is a magnificent work of late Victorian painstaking research. Oh, for a remake!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mrfarrow2u
  • 04-10-17

Deep!

Superb audiobook for those seeking knowledge of the Peninsular War. Very comprehensive, great value for your money.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jose De Oliveira
  • 01-19-17

Classic book, insufferable Spanish pronunciation!

What did you like most about A History of the Peninsular War 1807-1809?

This is a great book and one that due to its extension and structure invites itself to an audiobook. A great classic.

What did you like best about this story?

It provides a real view of the situation in Spain, despite the regular drop of over-simplification of Spanish personalities, likely motivated by the Victorian (technically Edwardian) superiority complex to explain weak monarchs as only motivated by imbecility. Spanish governance had actually other severe problems as did the Portuguese at that moment - implying it was the monarchs and not a broader issue that placed both countries in ridiculous circumstances falls all too well in Oman's comtemporary narrative.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

It is ludicrous that someone is retained - a very good narrator notwithstanding this particular point - that cannot pronunciate a single Spanish word correctly, considering War Histories mention location every 10 words, it is often unintelligible to understand what location or council or person is mentioned. You would expect that for such a task a narrator that can say "Guadala'h'ara". It is also funny how over time he improves, but in the first 2 hours are just hillarious.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YEs