jueves, 7 de noviembre de 2013

Memoirs of an English Officer

From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.

Memoirs of Captain Carleton, a narrative published 1728 as The Memoirs of an English Officer, by Captain George Carleton. It was once thought to be by *Defoe, but is now known not to be by him or *Swift, to whom the work was sometimes groundlessly attributed. Captain Carleton, who unquestionably existed, is the subject of an attractive tale of soldierly adventure. Sir Walter *Scott, who regarded the Memoirs as Carleton's own work, brought out a new edition in 1808.

Carleton volunteers on board the London on the declaration of war with the Dutch in 1672. In 1674 he enters the service of the prince of Orange, remaining there until the peace of Nijmegen. Returning to England, he receives a commission from James II and serves in Scotland and then in Flanders until the peace of Ryswick. The most interesting part of the memoir follows. Carleton embarks with Lord Peterborough for Spain in 1705, and gives a stirring narrative of the siege, capture, and subsequent relief of Barcelona and of the campaign by which Peterborough, with scanty resources, temporarily placed the Archduke Charles on the throne of Spain. This is followed by some account of various parts of Spain visited by the author as a prisoner of war. See Steig Hargevick, The Disputed Assignment of 'Memoirs of an English Officer' to Daniel Defoe (2 vols; 1972, 1974).


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