The book describes their lives together starting with the remaining battles of the Peninsula War.
Harry Smith was already a favorite of Wellington, who insisted most unusually on giving away Juana in marriage. His card was marked and his career prospered. He distinguished himself in numerous campaigns and theaters. Most particularly he was credited with the victory at Aliwali in India.
It will however be the couple's achievements and legacy in South Africa that they are best associated with, after the exceptional circumstances of their first meeting. Travelers to Natal are reminded of this by the towns of Ladysmith and Harrysmith.
The outlines of their lives are known to many, but the details in this carefully researched book will come as a revelation.
|Publisher:||Pen & Sword Books Limited|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A great read, bringing a long and fascinating story to life. If it was fiction it wouldn¿t be believed. Part love story, part military and empire history, In Love & War tracks the life of Harry Smith, a 25 year old Captain in Wellington¿s Peninsula Army, and his young Spanish bride, Juana, rescued from the charred remains of Badajoz in 1812 after a bloody assault and drunken rampage by British troops. Smith was a favourite of Wellington and the Iron Duke consented to give the bride away at the wedding, a mere two weeks after the battle. Juana followed Harry to war whenever it was allowed, sleeping rough and coping with the rigours of campaigning. His was a stellar army career. He survived Waterloo (where Juana searched among the dead and wounded of the battlefield for him after being mistakenly told he had fallen...) and fought with distinction in America, South Africa and India. He was divisional commander at the battle of Aliwal against the Sikhs, seen by many military historians as ¿the perfect battle¿. Lauded by Queen Victoria and the British press as ¿The Hero of Aliwal¿ Sir Harry and Lady Smith returned to South Africa as Governor of Cape Province. The cities of Ladysmith and Harrysmith are named after them. His later career was more controversial as political decisions were often more complex than those of the battlefield. Juana became the inspiration for Georgette Heyer¿s novel ¿The Spanish Bride¿. Harry Smith is believed to be the model for Gilbert and Sullivan¿s ¿Modern Major-General¿. Five stars.