Some posts earlier today where there was a disagreement on the proper citation from Wellington’s Dispatches led me to go over something I used to know but had departed my senile brain. I also have just had a discussion with my Editor about how to properly reference Wellington’s Dispatches. So, here is the problem.
The typical way of doing it is to cite volume and page number. This does not work because the original set published from 1834 is 12 volumes and there is also a later ‘New and Enlarged’ 8 volume set. So, you would need to be clear whether you are citing the original 12 volume set or the later 8 volume set. Ok so far?
Right, now it gets complicated. There are actually two versions of the 12 volume set. The original volumes 1-9 were published 1834-1837 and the final three volumes, 10-12 were published in 1838. BUT, the original nine volumes were also republished between 1837-8 with additional information, so the page numbering has changed. These new versions now had additional words on the title page ‘A New Edition’. So you cannot cite the 12 volume version unless you specify if you are using the original versions or the ‘A New Edition’ versions.
You cannot assume that the same information is in each of the different versions and editions. There is more stuff in ‘A New Edition’ than there is in the original. There is much more material in the ‘New and Enlarged’ edition than there is in either of the 12 volume versions. BUT, you cannot assume that the ‘New and Enlarged’ edition has all the material in the 12 volume edition, because some material has been removed from the later, ‘New and Enlarged’ edition. Case in point is what started this note. Tom Holberg quoting Donald Horward quoting Despatches on Wellington writing that Portuguese civilians who did not abandon their homes in 1810 would be hung. It is in the 12 volume versions (both) but not in the later 8 volume edition. My guess is that it was removed because Wellington was wrong to say it; it was not correct and certainly not diplomatic.
Finally, there is another complication and even I have lost the will to live now. There are two versions of the 8 volume set. They were first published in the 1840’s and called ‘An Enlarged Edition in 8 volumes’. I think they are the same as the later ‘New and Enlarged’ 1852 versions but so far I have only found volume 1 and that is the same.
If you have got this far – well done. The clever readers will have skipped straight to the end for the point of this note.
If you are citing from Wellington’s Despatches, you need to look very carefully at the title page to be clear about which version you are looking at and state it clearly in your bibliography. I argued successfully with my Editor (thanks Andrew) that it is better to put the source, recipient, location and date of the letter. It gives the reader a fighting chance of finding the letter whichever edition / version of despatches they have access to. Citing the volume and page number is not actually very helpful.
Finally don’t blame me, blame Gurwood and the Second Duke.