Wellington: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert
A bestseller in hardback, this is a highly-praised and much-needed biography of the first Duke of Wellington, concentrating on the personal life of the victor of Waterloo, and based on the fruits of modern research. Christopher Hibbert is Britain's leading popular historian.
Wellington (1769-1852) achieved fame as a soldier fighting the Mahratta in India. His later brilliant generalship fighting the French in Spain and his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo earned him a dukedom and the award of Apsley House (No. 1, London) and a large estate in Hampshire.
His second career saw him make his mark as a politician with commanding presence. Appointed Commander-in-Chief for life, he became Prime Minister in 1827 and presided over the emancipation of Roman Catholics and the formation of the country's first police force.
Privately, he was unhappily married, and had several mistresses (including two of Napoleon's) and many intimate friendships with women. The private side of the public man has never been so richly delineated as in this masterly biography.