This title represents a detailed and encyclopaedic study of the regulation uniforms worn by British cavalry and infantry regiments during the Napoleonic Wars, 1793-1815. Excluded from this study are named but unnumbered regiments, foreign regiments in British pay, regiments recruited for service in the colonies, or the veteran and Garrison battalions.
The subject is divided into four sections: The Cavalry Commonalities, which discusses headwear, coats and jackets, netherwear , accoutrements, horse and harness furniture, and swords and carbines; The Cavalry Regiments, which discusses the individual regiments of heavy and light cavalry; Infantry Commonalities, with chapters on headwear, coats and jackets, netherwear, tartans of the Highland Regiments, accoutrements, and swords muskets and carbines; and The Infantry Regiments, which describes the individual regiments of foot guards and regiments of foot. There are two appendices: the first illustrates the rank distinctions of officers and enlisted men while the second discusses the primary sources used such as pattern books, clothing regulations, and surviving examples. Inconsistencies between the different sources consulted are explained in the text.
This book impresses by its logical lay-out and by the detail in both the colour plates and the explanatory text. Every cavalry and infantry regiment appears by its order of seniority and each plate is accompanied by an explanation giving a very brief history and the dates of relevant changes to the uniform.
The plates, all of which are in colour, are CAD-drawn but the quality is excellent. The accuracy of colour rendition is consistent throughout, although the green of the 95th Regiment of Rifles is a lighter shade than I expected. It might be that this was necessary to illustrate the black lacing, but my feeling is that the shade selcted to too light: whether this might be true for other plates I can't say. I would recommend using other sources as well.
There are over 200 full-colour shaded illustrations of clothing with separate plates illustrating footwear, kilt patterns, weapons, shabraques, sabretaches, helmets and caps, saddles, harnesses, cartridge pouches, epaulettes and wings, lace, gorgets, breastplates, and sashes.
This is an excellent reference work for those interested in military uniforms, the Napoleonic War, with much of the information published for the first time. Figure painters will also find this a very useful guide.
Very highly recommended.