Any biographer who now attempts to write a life of the Duke of Wellington does so in the shadow, so to speak, of Elizabeth Longford whose splendid book about him was published in two volumes in 1969 and 1972. This book does not, of course, pretend to take its place; but if, as has been suggested, a person really worth writing about deserves reappraisal every twenty years, the time has certainly come for a new look at the Duke. This one skates rather quickly over his generalship and his political entanglements to concentrate more fully on those aspects of his life suggested by the book's sub-title.
The idea of my writing it came originally from the Hon. Georgina Stonor, whose knowledge of the Wellington Papers is extensive and whose library of books on the Duke and his family has been placed unreservedly at my disposal. I am extremely grateful to her for all her help, as I am to his Grace the eighth Duke of Wellington for allowing me to consult and quote from his great-great-grandfather's personal papers at Stratfield Saye and for his assistance when I was there.
I must express my thanks also to Dr C.M. Woolgar, Archivist and Head of Special Collections at the Hartley Institute, the University of Southampton, in whose care are the Duke of Wellington's official papers, and to Claire Jackson for her help when I was working at the Institute.
Southampton University and Stratfield Saye are the principal repositories of the Duke's papers; but I have also made use of letters and papers by or about him elsewhere. I have therefore to acknowledge with gratitude, the gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen to make use of material in the Royal Archives, Windsor Castle, and to express my thanks to Lord Raglan for the use of the Raglan Papers, including letters from the Duke to his brother William Wellesley-Pole, at Gwent Record Office; the Marquess of Tweeddale for use of the Yester Papers in the National Library of Scotland; the Marquess of Salisbury for use of papers at Hatfield House including the Westmeath Papers and letters from the Duke to the first wife of the second Marquess of Salisbury, her diary and the Duke's letters to the second wife of the second Marquess; Mrs M. Fry of Fulbeck Hall for a letter from the Duke to the Countess Dowager of Westmorland in the