Memoirs of a cavalier - PDF novel by Daniel Defoe

Memoirs of a cavalier, or, a military journal of the wars in Germany and the wars in England

Memoirs of a cavalier,
Memoirs of a cavalier - by Daniel Defoe



The "Memoirs of a Cavalier " were published on the 21st of May 1720, three weeks only after the appearance of " Duncan Campbell." The full title of the original edition, which bore no date, was, " Memoirs of a Cavalier; or, a Military Journal of the Wars in Germany, and the Wars in England. From the Year 1632 to the Year 1648. 

Written threescore years ago, by an English Gentleman, who served first in the Army of Gustavus Adolphus, the glorious King of Sweden, till his death, and after that in the Royal Army of King Charles the First, from the beginning of the Rebellion to the end of the War."

 The book must have been ready for the press when " Duncan Camp-bell " appeared, at the latest; it purports to have been written "threescore years ago" that is, not later than the Restoration. Elsewhere the data is carried back to 1651, or earlier.

The first question, then, that has to be considered is whether Defoe's work is in reality based upon a contemporary manuscript narrative; and this question leads to the other great problem connected with the book, viz., Who was the cavalier whose adventures are here described? 

It will be convenient, for the facility of reference, to give a brief summary of the main incidents of the Cavalier's 1441794 viii Introduction life as set forth in the Memoirs. It will then be easy to judge the plausibility of any theory which may be put forth. "

 It may suffice the reader," says the Cavalier, " without being very inquisitive after my name, that I was born in the county of Salop, in the year ^608." His father, a gentleman of means, lived six miles from " the town." 

Being a second son, the Cavalier was carefully taught and was sent to " College," Oxford, when he was seventeen. At the end of three years he returned home, but, as he evinced a great desire to travel, his father gave his permission, and he set out for the Continent with a friend on April 22, 1630. After seeing something of France and Italy, the young man attached himself to the French army under the Due de Montmorency in Italy and was present at the capture of Saluzzo. From September 1630 to January 1631 he was in Milan, and in April 1631 he reached Vienna, where everyone was discussing the war in Germany, and the action of the King of Sweden. 


The Cavalier abandoned his former plans, and decided to see the army of Gustavus Adolphus; but, owing to difficulties in passing the guards on the frontiers of Silesia, he had to go through Saxony, and at the beginning of May 1631. he was with the Imperial forces, under Count Tilly, at the siege of Magdeburg. Horrified at the cruelties which followed the fall of that city, the Cavalier left the Imperial army for Leipsic, where he remained until August when a siege seemed imminent. In September he reached the Swedish army, was introduced to the king and entered himself as a volunteer under Sir John Hepburn. Immediately afterwards the Cavalier took part in the battle of Leipsic (September 7, 1631), where Tilly was defeated; and at the end of the month, he was wounded in the arm at the attack on the castle Introduction ix of Marienburg. Afterwards,

 he took an active part in the capture of the fort at Oppenheim and was made Colonel at Mentz in February 1632. In April he was engaged at the battle of the Lech, where Tilly was slain; and in June he went to Nuremberg, which was then being besieged by Wallenstein. He was present when Freynstat was taken but was not engaged in the battle of Altenberg. 

Before Leipsic was captured by the Imperialists, the Cavalier had been taken prisoner, and he thus missed the battle of Liitzen (November 16, 1632), where his hero Gustavus Adolphus was killed. When Leipsic was retaken, he obtained his liberty. 

Afterwards he travelled about Germany for two years, was present at councils of war in 1634, and at the defeat of the Protestants at Nordlingen (August 17, 1634). By March 1635 he had inspected Prince Maurice's army and reached the Hague, and he arrived in England at the end of the year.

the book details :
  • Author:   Daniel Defoe
  • Publication date:1908
  • Company: London: J. M. Dent & co.; New York, E. P. Dutton & co.

  • Download Memoirs of a cavalier- 8.4 MB
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