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., Anon., Poems founded on the Events of the War in the Peninsula by the Wife of an Officer (London, 1819)–the only text that has been located in this respect is a brief memoir of a very impersonal nature that offers little in the way of personal experience. CF. F.M. Fitzmaurice, Recollections of a Rifleman’s Wife at Home and Abroad (London, 1851).

— From the endnotes to Charles Esdaile’s Women in the Peninsular War (2014), p. 295

While fiction writers do make up tales, it would help so much to have at least a little fabric to start with.

Sources: reviews of Esdaile’s book (Goodreads), Fitzmaurice text (Google books), Anon, Poems (archive.org)

 

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