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By Christopher Hibbert

A bestseller, it is a highly-praised and much-needed biography of the 1st Duke of Wellington, targeting the private lifetime of the victor of Waterloo, and according to the culmination of recent examine. Christopher Hibbert is Britain’s prime renowned historian.

Wellington (1769–1852) accomplished reputation as a soldier battling the Mahratta in India. His later excellent generalship scuffling with the French in Spain and his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo earned him a dukedom and the award of Apsley residence (No. 1, London) and a wide property in Hampshire.

His moment profession observed him make his mark as a political candidate with commanding presence. Appointed Commander-in-Chief for all times, he turned leading Minister in 1827 and presided over the emancipation of Roman Catholics and the formation of the country’s first police force.

Privately, he was once unhappily married, and had a number of mistresses (including of Napoleon’s) and plenty of intimate friendships with ladies. the non-public part of the general public guy hasn't ever been so richly delineated as during this masterly biography.

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It was, however, in the very antithesis of the ancient foundations that the most lively potential book market was to be found: in the technical and commercial academies. 16 Hogben was not unique among booksellers in running such a school, or among schoolmasters in selling books. The Universal British Directory tells us of two more: Thomas Palmer of East Grinstead, Sussex, was Master of a school there, and William Perks of Bath was a writing master and accountant as well as a stationer. 17 Mathematical education, and training in mathematically based technologies such as surveying and navigation, was the basis of education in these little schools.

The early provincial newspapers did little more than reprint news from their London contemporaries a week or so after its original publication. 26 It was as an advertising medium that the provincial press came to play a crucial role in social and economic life. Goods and services were offered in profusion; employers sought employees, and the unemployed advertised for work. In fact, the increasingly dominant advertising pages of a mideighteenth-century provincial newspaper were very like those of its modern successor.

18 THE PRACTICAL MARKET There was some degree of national uniformity in the educational market. Although there were regional trends, like the origin of the Sunday School movement in Gloucestershire and Somerset, the pattern from Durham to Daventry was generally similar. When we turn to the market for practical books, and even more when we consider leisure reading, local variation is more apparent. We shall, however, begin with one category of uniform national interest: the law. Law books were not only for lawyers.

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