Historical fiction writer’s lament

It would be interesting to know how officers’ wives intellectualised their experiences in Spain and Portugal. However, setting aside a collection of epic lays of little relevance to our topic–viz., Continue ReadingHistorical fiction writer’s lament

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Field Trip: Printer’s shop

I decided that the Wakefield family in my novel The Spanish Patriot would be printers after reading this passage, from Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff (boldface type is my Continue ReadingField Trip: Printer’s shop

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A tour of La Coruña, in search of Corunna 1808

Between the second and third drafts of The Spanish Patriot, I traveled to its main setting, Corunna (A Coruña in Gallego, La Coruña in Castilian), in the region of Galicia, Continue ReadingA tour of La Coruña, in search of Corunna 1808

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On soldiering

From a letter by Edward Charles Cocks, intelligence officer during Peninsular War (1812): “One word more generally on the profession. Few regard soldiers in their true light, that is as Continue ReadingOn soldiering

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From the mouths of babes, 19th century style

From Recollections of a Rifleman’s Wife, at Home and Abroad; At Home and Abroad, by F. M. Fitzmaurice (1851) (text at Google books, general ebooks): [In Lyons] The Place Louis le Grand is Continue ReadingFrom the mouths of babes, 19th century style

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The birth of an island

  First-hand account from 1831 of an island being made between Tunisia and Italy, from Recollections of a Rifleman’s Wife, at Home and Abroad, by F. M. Fitzmaurice (1851) (PDF at Google Continue ReadingThe birth of an island

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Starvation rations good for you?

A little Army rationalization? From The Diary of a Cavalry Officer in the Peninsular and Waterloo Campaign, 1809–1815 by William Tomkinson (text at Google books or archive.org) There is one Continue ReadingStarvation rations good for you?

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