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Every woman needs a devil by her side...

1650-1820 Europe and America

AUTHOR TITLE COMMENTS
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.

ISBN 788496527379

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.

ISBN 97804665004829

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.

ISBN 0-02-523660-1

De Ségur,
General Count Philippe
Translated by
H.A. Patchett-Martin
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.

ISBN 978-1-84588-005-7

Durant, Will and Ariel The Age of Louis XIV

The overview of 17th century Europe.

ISBN 0-671-01215-0

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.

ISBN 0-306-80757-2

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.

ISBN 1-4039-6231-6

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.

ISBN 978-0-3855-0984-8

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.

ISBN 0-306-81083-2

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.

ISBN 0-865-65233-3

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.

ISBN 1-85532-968-9

Hibbert, Christopher The Days of the French Revolution

A good overview.

ISBN 0-688-16978-3

Rose, Alexander Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring

Fascinating, glamorous spy story. As good as anything in a movie.

ISBN 0-553-80421

Secher, Reynald
Translated by
George Holoch
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.

ISBN 0-268-02865-6

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!

ISBN 0-85115-764-5

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!

ISBN 0-8133-1576-X

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.

ISBN 1-85367-564-4

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.

ISBN 0-06-093455-7

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.

ISBN 0-8050-7949-1

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