From Cintra to Salamanca: Shifting popular perceptions of the war in the Iberian Peninsula, 1808-1812

  • Zack White Independent Scholar


Scholarly attention on how the British public thought about the Peninsular War is limited. This piece examines contemporary letters, caricatures and newspapers to determine whether the public was influenced by the media’s presentation of the conflict, or vice versa. It is argued that the Peninsular War was a peripheral concern for the public, which was easily eclipsed by political crises or scandals at home. Furthermore, an undertone of patriotism can be identified throughout the Peninsular War. The British public engaged with an ideal of the war in which British honour was maintained, and ultimately personified, by Wellington and his army.