Ø Read á An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer Ü What a wonderful, complex story The romance feels less important that the historical stuff at times, but thanks to Heyer s talent and painstaking research, it all comes together flawlessly There are basically three parts In the beginning, the fashionable world anxiously awaits the results of the Vienna Congress and enjoys their freedom in Brussels, where the infamous widow Lady Barbara meets a dashing but quiet aide de camp to the Duke of Wellington In the middle, Wellington prepares his campaign against a newly escaped Napoleon, and the last part features an incredibly detailed and gruesome account of the battle of Waterloo What made this novel so enjoyable was Barbara She s a self proclaimed rake, loves shocking polite society, gambles, swears, flirts outrageously, and basically does as she pleases She was a breath of fresh air, and lu I m not sure this novel worked particularly well The divide between the ball room romances and the military maneuvering was just too wide I really enjoyed both parts but they didn t work that well together.
I m a big fan of fiction set during the Napoleanic wars When the 95th rifles were mentioned I was super excited to see how Heyer would depict Richard Sharpe before remembering that Sharpe is a fictional character from another series and not a real historical person.
Heyer did a good job of showing Old Nosey at his best Her Wellington is very much like Wellington as I ve seen his elsewhere That s not really a surprise So much of his writing survives, and so many personal accounts and descriptions of him, that no writer really has any wriggle room for interpretation I especially liked that almost every line he ut In The Summer Of , Beneath The Aegis Of The Army Of Occupation, Brussels Is The Gayest Town In Europe And The Red Haired Widow Lady Barbara Childe, Renowned For Being As Outrageous As She Is Beautiful, Is At The Centre Of The Social Whirl And Of All That Is Fashionable And Light Hearted However, The City Was A Nest Of Intrigue Napoleon Threatened Europe But The Talk Was Only Of This Dazzling And Tempestuous Young Every Brilliant Ball, Supper, And Concert In The Feverish Spring Seemed To Bring Her A New Conquest By Storm She Is The Talk Of The Ton She Flirts Shamelessly, Dresses Outrageously, And Scandalizes Polite Society That Doesn T Stop One Of Her Adorers The Dashing Colonel Charles Audley, An Aide De Camp To The Duke Of Wellington From Falling Madly In Love With The Beautiful Young Widow And Proposing Marriage Threatened By The Growing Tide Of Scandal, She Allowed Colonel Charles Audley To Claim Her For His BrideThe Eve Of The Fateful Battle Of Waterloo, Their Betrothal Falls Apart It Isn T Until Charles Marches Off To Fight Napoleon That Barbara Discovers Where Her Heart Lies Now, She Can Do Nothing But Wait As The Battle Rages, Praying For The Safety Of The One Man Who Can Set Her Free From Her Wild Impulses But As The Clouds Of War Gathered, He Turned From Her In A Sudden, Mysterious Indifference Stunned, Bewildered, Barbara Wondered What Secret She Must Fathom, What New Seduction Must She Devise, To Regain The One Man Who She Ruefully Realized Had Truly Claimed Her Heart This is exactly the bracing kind of story I needed Jolly good fun, as the general population of characters in this book would say Georgette Heyer has always been good at adventure stories set amongst the British upper class, but in this she has far outdone herself Her research is astounding The second half of the book largely consists of an enormously through about 150 pages long play by play account of the battle of Waterloo, and its immediate lead up and aftermath Heyer seems to know every small action, every commander, each failed and successful strategy on both sides, not to mention her unbelievable knowledge of 19th century warfare and British army cant of the time This part of the novel reads like something between a history tome and the narrative novel that its sup Heyer s forte was historical research and it really shines through in this book The last 1 3 of the novel consists of a detailed play by play description of the Battle of Waterloo complete with troop movements and every gory death exactly as it occurred What happens to the characters during the battle is blended in with the real life events and will keep the reader turning pages until the fictional history is resolved Lady Barbara is entirely unlikeable in most of the novel She s the feminine version of her grandfather and instead of shooting people she breaks hearts and causes young men to kill themselves Lovely We re told she s spoiled and didn t have a soft feminine influence to curb her wild nature but that doesn t excuse her bad behavior because she s perfectly aware of what she s doing She has a slow revelation and improves upon acquaintance We I read Heyer for romance This book was not what I expected Too much military and hard to understand.
REVIEWER S OPINION I think it might be better to read this book rather than LISTEN to it as an audiobook It was hard to understand all the military planning and battle action I needed to see diagrams and pictures It was also hard to follow the various officers names by listening as opposed to reading I understand the author did a lot of research in order to be accurate about the Battle of Waterloo The narrator spoke too fast for me which did not help.
I may be off on my percentages but it feels like half the book is about a relationship between an army officer and a widow The other half is about military planning and This book has two sides In other words, you will find two books inside.
1 It is definitely a tribute to Duke of Wellington and his army which fought at Waterloo And, it is great tribute Heyer had to spend many hours to get so historically accurate descriptions Really, I don t even know what I can sayIf someone likes to read about wars, war strategies and so on, he will think of this book like of a jewel I love historical fiction Nonetheless, although I appreciate value of Heyer s work I confess I have skipped many sites and battle descriptions I haven t had a mood for such knowledge But I know where I can find it when I will be interested Still, I have read with pleasure about other historical facts 2 It is classical romance of Heyer Witty, with small surprises, with interesting characters.
There are two as This was the first book I have ever read that was written by Georgette Heyer I can see why her work is so loved It was very well written and much attention was given to detail, which I always enjoy She put much work it into it while still allowing me to use my imagination to a point that was satisfactory for me While I m far from an expert on the Duke of Wellington or Waterloo, I still think the military aspects of the story were very well written and appreciate the research Heyer put into it all My favorite characters were probably Colonel Audley himself, the Duke of course , and Barbara s brother Lord George view spoiler When George was brought in, something in my mind hoped he would get some attention in the book as it went on and I was actually happy to find he and Lucy were mar
This was a bit of a mash up part romance with an unpleasantly self absorbed heroine, part history lesson, meticulously researched and well told The story opens in Brussels on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo as British and allied European forces prepare to confront a resurgent Napoleon The Duke of Wellington is in command of the British troops, who are too few and unseasoned Heyer captures the sense of feverish gaiety that grips this city on the brink of war Wellington s staff work madly to assemble troops and equipment by day then dance til dawn at glittering parties At the Duchess of Richmond s ball, held the night of 15 June 1815, the 42nd Royal Highlanders and the 92nd Foot danced reels and strathspeys to the music of their own pipes.
the weird sound of the pipes began and the Highlanders came marching in with their kilts swinging, tartans swept over their left shoul Although I had read three other Georgette Heyer novels before this one, those were all detective stories, instead of the historical romances that she swell known for I found this one in a bookstore a few weeks ago and thought that it would be a good introduction to Heyer s other body of work although her mysteries aren t the best I ve ever read, her characters are always well formed and the writing is witty and clever, so I was looking forward to seeing how she applied this skill to another kind of story A quick note although this book is technically part of a series, it functions very well as a stand alone novel, to the point where I didn t even realize that I was reading a book from a series until I went to wr