I have accumulated an enormous number of debts since beginning work on this history. The raw material was largely provided by the archivists and librarians of the Archives nationales; Service historique de l'Armée de Terre; Bibliothèque nationale; University of East Anglia; University of Wales, Aberystwyth; and National Library of Wales. Research grants and study leave were generously awarded by both of the universities mentioned above and further indispensable funding by the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, and Wolfson Foundation. I am grateful to William Doyle, Richard Evans, Douglas Johnson, Gwynne Lewis, and Vincent Wright for supporting various grant applications. Christopher Johnson, John Merriman, Sylvie Eyrich, Robert Frugère, and Jane Frugère offered encouragement and friendship. Colin Heywood was brave enough to take on the task of critically reading the original manuscript. Heather Price, more than anyone, improved its readability.
I am extremely grateful to William Davies and to the Syndics of Cambridge University Press for agreeing to publish the book as well as for the constructive criticism offered by the readers appointed by the Press, one of whom did me a great favour by suggesting the subtitle. Jean Field very efficiently copy-edited the text.
Above all I have to thank Richard and Luisa, Siân and Andy, Emily and Luke, Hannah, and my beloved Heather, who make life such a pleasure.