arthur-wellesley

                                                   Arthur Wellesley

                                                     Field Marshal

                                            First Duke of Wellington

                                  Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

                                         Leader of the House of Lords

                                                  Foreign Secretary

                                                   Home Secretary

                             Secretary of War for the State and Colonies

                                         (May 1, 1769  – May 1, 2016)

                                               Happy 247th birthday!

Wellington and the Crying Schoolboy

The Duke once met a little boy, crying by the road. “Come now, that’s no way for a young gentleman to behave. What’s the matter?” he asked.
“I have to go away to school tomorrow,” sobbed the child, “and I’m worried about my pet toad. There’s no-one else to care for it and I shan’t know how it is.”
Keen to ease the little chap’s discomfort, the Duke promised to attend to the matter personally.
After the boy had been at school for just over a week, he received a note: “Field Marshall the Duke of Wellington presents his compliments to Master —- and has the pleasure to inform him that his toad is well.”

The assault was launched on the dark night of 6 April and, as some had thought at Ciudad Rodrigo, Wellington launched it too soon. The first storming column struggled to clamber up the slopes and across the imperfect breaches, treading on to the sharp spikes of caltrops and planks studded with the points of nails, being blown apart by mines, mutilated by shells and grenades, burned by fire-balls and knocked over by powder barrels, coming up against chevaux-de-frise made from Spanish sword blades, carrying scaling ladders, many of which proved too short, taunted by the shouts of the French troops on the walls and with the piercing sound of their own bugles ringing in their ears.

They were driven back with appalling losses. The second storming column suffered the same fate. When Wellington was given reports of these failures and the dreadful carnage that accompanied them, he remained outwardly calm; but those close to him saw the colour drain from his face. The surgeon James McGrigor, standing nearby, thought that he would never forget ‘the countenance of Lord Wellington at that moment lit up by the glare of the torch held by Lord March’:

The jaw had fallen, and the face was of unusual length which the torchlight gave his countenance a lurid aspect…Suddenly turning to me and putting his hand on my arm, he said, 'Go over immediately to Picton, and tell him he must try if he cannot succeed on the castle.’ I replied, 'My Lord, I have not my horse with me, but I will walk as fast as I can, and I think I can find the way; I know part of the road is swampy.’ 'No, no,’ he replied, 'I beg your pardon, I thought it was De Lancey’ [an aide-de-camp]. I repeated my offer, saying I was sure I could find the way, but he said, 'No.’

Later he was seen to be in tears when he saw the heaps of dead bodies lying piled upon the broken walls; and the next day, when handed the casualty returns, he read them with tears pouring down his cheeks. He admitted as much when his life as a fighting soldier was over:

He told us that the day after the storm of Badajoz, which had been most bloody, Sir Thos. Picton, who, he said, was as hard as iron, came to congratulate him, & [Wellington told Mrs Arbuthnot] I assure you I actually cd not help crying. I bit my lips, did everything I cd to stop myself for I was ashamed he shd see it, but I could not; & he so little entered into my feelings that he said, 'Good God, what is the matter?’! & I was obliged to begin swearing and cursing the Government for giving me no sappers & miners as an excuse for my agitation.

—  The Siege of Badajoz (1812); Wellington: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert

Christopher Plummer as Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington ~ Waterloo, 1970

Paul Mason - The Twins, The Ghost and the Castle

Twins Tom and Stella, runaways with a backstory that remains for the reader to decide, come across a castle by the sea, sneak in and decide to stay. A few nights into their stay – hiding among the tourists by day and playing in the empty castle by night – they realise that they are not the only unconventional inhabitants of the place – which, as the author himself admits, while never named looks suspiciously like Walmer Castle.

Like Walmer Castle, the castle in the book happens to have been the home to the Duke of Wellington – and the Duke is still around, too. Ghost Arthur has taken a liking to the children and decides to keep them around. Of course, things happen to make matters complicated. The castle is to be closed and turned into a spa – much to the displeasure of Wellington’s Ghost, the twins and head caretaker Parkin. Together, the four of them make plans to prevent those plans from happening – plans that eventually culminate in a concerted action against a ghost hunter.

The book is written for readers aged 8 and up, though I must say that even at roughly five times that age, I found these to be a greatly enjoyable 96 pages. The book is complete with footnotes and puns – not even all of them mentioning boots – and, I must say, hands down the best characterisation of Wellington in private that I’ve seen in fiction in a very long time.

Well. I’ll be ordering a few more copies then. This is the perfect book to introduce some young relatives to Wellington with. Can’t start them on him too early, right?

2

So i have long held that the best possible modern AU of the Bonaparte family would be a Fast and the Furious mixed with James Bond style mess. So I made a moodboard for it. This is mostly to entertain @joachimmurat and myself. 

Now, I want to make one with the other Bonaparte (and Murat) brothers but that will have to wait until tomorrow. 

Top board is Napoleon and Arthur, who is totes with Interpol (don’t ask, I think it’s funny). Napoleon is done with this shit. Arthur has a lot of feelings and he keeps dropping them all over the floor and can’t pick them all up. They’re like the Kate Beaton Nemesis comic. Napoleon drives a lot of cars really fast and has broken every possible road law on the Continent and is probably part of the illegal Olive Oil mafia. 

Bottom board are the ladies. Pauline, Caroline and Josephine. Caroline don’t give a fuck about no one (except herself and Joachim) and she is just as likely to help a mission as hinder it. She probably has “ride or die” tattooed somewhere inappropriate. She wears t-shirts that say “Fuck” on them and murderously red lipstick. Pauline is just here for the high life of fancy parties, fancy clothes, fancy men, and fancy drinks. Josephine spends a lot of time trying to keep her trash husband from getting shot by this obsessive Interpol guy. She also has broken every road law on the Continent and has illegal plants of all sorts hidden around her garden. She just hopes Napoleon won’t fall off a motorbike and break his face or something. That’s her true worry. 

It ends happily enough for everyone. 

“'Tis of no matter, your Highness, I have seen their backs before.” 

This is attributed to Wellington as a statement to an unidentified woman at a reception in Vienna, who had apologized for the rudeness of some French officers who had turned their backs on him when he entered, as quoted in Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes(2000), edited by Clifton Fadiman and André Bernard, p. 568

“The nature of the emperor is not one that is easy in any regard. Not easy to describe, not easy to endure, not easy to be without once removed from it. Five months apart, even after such a brief time as their first encounter was, and Arthur is finding the ground he treads upon as uneasy as the ground when they first met. He sits, listening to Harriet’s stories of the Season, the election, the unrest, but knows, as he does so, that he is being watched. Napoleon of course is looking at Harriet but Arthur knows better – blast the infernal man. “– a short extract from Chapter 3 of “A Wolf in Chase” done by the amazing writer thiswaycomessomethingwicked  Spent quite a few hours on this one though it was still not good enough to represent the awesomeness of the writing.Hope I can do a better job next time:)

Again, thank you all for the likes and reblogs! And please read the fiction if you have time! I am pretty sure you will love it just like me:)

–By the way, I put two “ Easter Eggs”in the scene, can anyone find them? XD