Confession: a significant error of interpretation in “The Late Lord”

I’m sure it happens to most biographers, but I must confess to an important error of interpretation in The Late Lord. On pp. 181-2, I describe the death of Mary, Countess of Chatham, on 21 May 1821: On Monday, 21 May 1821, Chatham, at home in Hill Street, received the visit of Sir William Bellingham […]

Reviews of “The Late Lord”

“The Late Lord is based on impressive research in the archives and published sources and the author is completely at home in the period. Reiter’s judgment is thoughtful, perceptive and well balanced, while her prose is lively and entertaining. After two hundred years of neglect, Chatham has been immensely fortunate in being the subject of […]

The Late Lord: the book

It is now possible for UK readers to preorder my biography of the 2nd Earl of Chatham! You can order your copy directly from Pen and Sword. It is also available through Amazon (both the UK and US sites). The Late Lord: the life of John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham will be released by […]

John’s later years, Part 3: “the venerable Earl”

Yesterday I thoroughly pillaged the British Library’s excellent 19th Century Newspapers database (… well, *nearly* excellent: I have one or two reservations about the search interface, but that’s another story). I habven’t used it much before, largely because I keep forgetting the 2nd Earl of Chatham clung to life until September 1835, but I found […]

The “Late” Lord Chatham at the Admiralty, 1794

It’s no secret that John was— how shall I put it— not the most punctual of people, and he quite liked the easy life. I certainly haven’t found much to dispute this, although I have found numerous occasions on which he attended public events before eleven o’clock in the morning, so clearly he wasn’t utterly […]

John’s later years, Part 2

So yes, despite my radio silence over the past few days I still have quite a lot of stuff to share that came from my foray into the National Archives last week. Time, then, for my Part 2 of the insight I have gleaned into the later years of the second Earl of Chatham, and […]

Insight into John’s later years (Part 1)

John, Earl of Chatham is fast becoming my Best Research Buddy (BRB for short— and who’m I kidding? Let’s just call him John from here on in for concision’s sake. John, blog readers; blog readers, John. Excellent, now we can move on :-D). The problem is John is one of the Invisible Men in history, […]

HMS Victor v La Flèche: two official versions of one naval action

I’ve been rather enjoying getting to grips with the naval history of the Napoleonic (and pre-Napoleonic) era while researching Sir Home Popham. One of the things I discovered today was the comparatively minor action off the island of Mahé, one of the Seychelles, between HMS Victor (an 18-gun sloop) and the French corvette La Flèche […]

“Comedy Walcheren” 1809, part 2

Apologies for being a day late, but I couldn’t access the blog yesterday. So here is Part 2 of Comedy Walcheren 1809. (For disclaimer and further context, see Part 1.) *** [After the fall of Flushing, August 1809] COOTE: Right. That went swimmingly. Shall we send in some commissioners to negotiate the surrender of the […]

“Comedy Walcheren” 1809, part 1

Now before you yell at me at once, some context. Bear with me. I wrote this after finishing The Late Lord. I felt like an emotional punch-bag; it turns out writing a biography and getting into someone’s head is an all-consuming thing, particularly when the story you’re telling is quite depressing in parts. ‘Comedy Walcheren’ […]