These two key memoirs, edited by one of Britain’s leading military historians, provide a superb insight into a formative European campaign and vividly capture the face of battle and siege warfare in the early eighteenth century. They describe, among others, the battles of Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, and Malplaquet, and many sieges. Both accounts are from the pens of gifted, but very different, writers, well placed to observe the leading personalities and their actions.
Robert Parker first enlisted in 1683, rose to Captain of Grenadiers in the Royal Regiment of Foot of Ireland by 1708 and served until 1718. Winston Churchill said of Parker’s account of his campaigns, ‘If we had to choose one single record of Marlborough’s campaigns and of his personality, we might well be content with the journals of this marching captain.’ Merode-Westerloo, whose account was translated from the French by David Chandler, commanded a regiment in the Walloon army, saw action in Italy, fought for and against Marlborough, and eventually became a Field-Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire.
Parker’s and Merode-Westerloo’s memoirs, edited, supplemented and placed in the context of the war in general by David Chandler, give fascinating descriptions of a soldier’s experiences in one of history’s most remarkable campaigns.
David Chandler MA, D.Litt, FRHists, perhaps best known for his books on the Napoleonic Wars, has a specialist in-depth knowledge of the campaigns of Marlborough. He is the author of On the Napoleonic Wars, Marlborough as Military Commander and The Art of Warfare in the Age of Marlborough.