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Stock# 99148

Tracking The Movements of The Armies of the Peninsular War (1809-1812) -- Hand Annotated Six Sheet Map of The Ibernian Peninsula

Bound example of this 6-sheet wall map of the Iberian Peninsula, here in atlas format with key sheet and title page, issued during the Napoleonic Wars.

The present example is extensively annotated, focusing on the major roads within the Iberian Peninsula, using two different color codes and notes in the margins dated between 1809 and 1812.  The different choice of colors and stylistic choices of notes along the roads, occasional flags and other symbols strongly suggests that the owner was tracking the movements of the military combatants during the Peninsular War, with extensive annotations throughout the entirety of the six sheets.

The Napoleonic Wars in the Iberian Peninsula, covering Spain and Portugal, spanned from 1807 to 1814. It all started with the Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1807, where Napoleon Bonaparte of France and Spain agreed to let French troops go through Spain to attack Portugal, which was allied with Britain. The French quickly took over Portugal, causing the Portuguese royal family to flee to Brazil.

In 1808, Napoleon turned against Spain, removing King Charles IV and his son Ferdinand VII, and putting his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, in charge of Spain. This move angered the Spanish people and led to widespread resistance, starting the Peninsular War.

The war saw traditional battles and guerrilla warfare, with local Spanish and Portuguese fighters playing a key role. The British, led by Sir Arthur Wellesley (later known as the Duke of Wellington), also joined in to help fight the French. 

The turning point came with the Battle of Vitoria in 1813, where the British and their allies defeated the French. This defeat led to the end of French control in Spain. By 1814, the French were forced out, and Ferdinand VII became king of Spain again.

Most of the annotations appear to be in English. A selection follows:

  • Marmont's armies...
  • Buonapart's advance to assist Marmont and [?] after his depart. 22d July 1812
  • Valencia taken by Suchet 1812 February
  • Tarifa, French [?] off Feb 1812 & the Siege raised
Condition Description
Folio. Original half red morocco and plain boards, neatly rebacked, original publisher's printed label on front cover. Gilt-ruled spine. Corners refurbished. A few ink spots in upper margin of title page and top margin of frontispiece map (map image not affected). Discoloration at some folds. Contemporary ink annotations throughout on the maps, and in margins. Overall clean and nice.