|Andrea Press||Battle of Corunna, 1809: Third Historical Re-enactment, July 30th – August 1, 2004||
Contains photos of re-enactors, their horses and their gear. While other books show historically accurate costumes, this is the first I’ve found which shows them in use. An actual horse and its rider in action look very different than in old line drawings.
I consider this slim volume a must-have.
|Asprey, Robert||The Reign of Napoleon Bonaparte||
The 2nd volume of a 2-volume biography of Napoleon, it contains only 1 chapter on Napoleon’s time in Spain. But that was more vivid and insightful than many of the more “expert” analyses I found elsewhere.
Overall, an excellent book.
|Chandler, David G.||The Campaigns of Napoleon||
An exhaustive analysis of Napoleon at war from the French perspective. Detailed enough to give me the timeline for part of Bond of Fire’s plot, although the map of Spain shows Galicia much too far to the east.
General Count Philippe
|Memoirs of an Aide-de-Camp of Napoleon, 1800-1812||
Provided the small details necessary for fleshing out the French army’s opinion of life in Spain.
|Durant, Will and Ariel||The Age of Louis XIV||
The overview of 17th century Europe.
|Elting, John R.||Swords Around A Throne: Napoleon’s Grande Armée||
A detailed, vivid and extremely unsparing description of the French, British and Spanish armies – emphasizing their people. A masterpiece and a must-read.
|Esdaile, Charles||The Peninsular War: A New History||
Fascinating. A balanced perspective, paying as much attention to the Spanish and Portugese, as it does to the British and French. It includes as much politics, as it does warfare.
This book told me what happened in Galicia. It also allowed me to build Don Rafael, Jean-Marie and Donal’s roles during the War of Liberation.
|Fraser, Antonia||Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King||
Talk about lives of the rich and famous! Wow! Modern-day tabloids have nothing on this.
It includes the romances, the financial rewards, the jockeying – and the social rewards for the children. All in glorious detail, which brought Jean-Marie’s birth and childhood into vivid Technicolor.
|Gates, David||The Spanish Ulcer: A History of the Peninsular War||
Vivid and balanced account of the war, focusing on the military aspects. Definitely treats the Spaniards and Portugese perspectives with respect.
It gave me Jean-Marie and Hélène’s desperate race north, plus a model for Don Rafael’s actions at Vittoria.
|Gengembre, Gérard||Napoleon: The Immortal Emperor||
Explores the development of Napoleon’s legend over time, starting with his own manipulation of public relations. Lots and lots of images of everything even remotely to him – every outfit, location, piece of furniture, even the most trivial accessory.
For an author, it’s priceless, since it’s almost a single volume catalog of Napoleonic life.
|Haythornthwaite, Philip||Corunna 1809: Sir John Moore’s Fighting Retreat||
Detailed account of the British retreat, including maps and photos. It’s possible to visualize where the army was, what the terrain looked like, and what they were doing for almost every day.
Using it was crucial for writing the scenes where Jean-Marie and Hélène out-foxed Napoleon’s army.
|Hibbert, Christopher||The Days of the French Revolution||
A good overview.
|Rose, Alexander||Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring||
Fascinating, glamorous spy story. As good as anything in a movie.
|A French Genocide; The Vendée||
Genocide and civil war reconstructed two centuries later by a descendant. Horrific, shocking and heartbreaking.
My muse told me Hélène and Celeste’s conflict originated in the Vendée. I didn’t know why, until I read this book. Then I wept for them both.
|Sparrow, Elizabeth||Secret Service: British Agents in France, 1792-1815||
Impeccably researched. Starts with the counter-revolution in London – including fascinating details about the origins of the police! – then discusses various British agents’ work on the Continent. It’s more a collection of anecdotes than a unified view, although it does draw a fascinating link between the British efforts in 1792 and 1940.
Lots of fertile ground here for building realistic spies!
|Sutton, Geoffrey V.||Science for A Polite Society: Gender, Culture, and the Demonstration of Enlightenment||
Welcome to the book which told me how Hélène could be welcomed as a scientist!
|Summerville, Christopher||March of Death: Sir John Moore’s Retreat to Corunna, 1808-1809||
It’s almost impossible to overstate how foul the conditions were that winter. Lots of fascinating anecdotes.
|Urban, Mark||The Man Who Broke Napoleon’s Codes: The True Story of A Forgotten Hero in Wellington’s Army||
How code breaking was really done. It reads more like a novel than a biography, although it’s superbly researched.
|Weber, Caroline||Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution||
How Marie Antoinette used extreme fashions in an attempt to increase her personal power.
It’s not surprising today to see pop icons behaving like this. But even they risk backlash if they go too far and queens usually err on the conservative side.
It gave me incredibly vivid insights into the court’s atmosphere before the French Revolution. Fascinating, absolutely fascinating.