An Infamous Army (Alastair Trilogy Series #3)

An Infamous Army (Alastair Trilogy Series #3)

3.7 32
by Georgette Heyer
     
 

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On the eve of battle, passions are running high...

"A brilliant achievement...vivid, accurate, dramatic...the description of Waterloo is magnificent."-DAILY MAIL

"My favorite historical novelist."-MARGARET DRABBLE

IN THE SUMMER OF 1815, with Napolean Bonaparte marching down from the north, Brussels is a whirlwind of parties, balls and soirees. In…  See more details below

Overview

On the eve of battle, passions are running high...

"A brilliant achievement...vivid, accurate, dramatic...the description of Waterloo is magnificent."-DAILY MAIL

"My favorite historical novelist."-MARGARET DRABBLE

IN THE SUMMER OF 1815, with Napolean Bonaparte marching down from the north, Brussels is a whirlwind of parties, balls and soirees. In the swirling social scene surrounding the Duke of Wellington and his noble aides de camp, no one attracts more attention than the beautiful, outrageous young widow Lady Barbara Childe. On their first meeting, dashing Colonel Charles Audley proposes to her, but even their betrothal doesn't calm her wild behavior. Finally, with the Battle of Waterloo raging just miles away, civilians fleeing and the wounded pouring back into the town, Lady Barbara discovers where her heart really lies, and like a true noblewoman, she rises to the occasion, and to the demands of love, life and war...

"Wonderful characters, elegant, witty writing, perfect
period detail, and rapturously romantic. Georgette Heyer
achieves what the rest of us only aspire to."
-KATIE FFORDE

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This must be the most accurately researched and detailed battle description that has ever appeared in a book of romantic fiction. The battle itself, and the weeks before and after it, forms the time line and backbone of this novel. The title refers to the Duke of Wellington's unkind nickname for the motley collection of national armies under his command in 1815 at Waterloo. Set in Brussels, as the French and Allied forces are converging, Heyer's story concerns the stormy courtship between Lady Barbara Childe and Col. Charles Audley. Lady Barbara, forced into an unloving and ugly marriage in her youth, has buried her hated husband and become a scandalous widow. Colonel Audley is a popular member of the Duke of Wellington's staff who knows the wicked widow's reputation but falls for her anyway; after their first meeting, he proposes marriage. Lady Barbara, fascinated by this direct attack on her defenses, consents to an engagement but refuses to restrain her shocking behavior. The Battle of Waterloo in all its glorious and horrifying detail then becomes the center around which the book's characters orbit. Definitely a romance for the historically minded reader, there is no fluff here. As the conflict rages, Lady Barbara helps to nurse the wounded men who wander back into the city, learning much about life, death, and love in the process. No magical happy endings occur, just the contentment of two people who have grown into their love for one another. Well read by Clare Higgins, An Infamous Army is highly recommended for public libraries. Barbara Rhodes, Northeast Texas Lib. Syst., Garland Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402234286
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
09/01/2007
Series:
Alastair Trilogy Series , #3
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
86,979
File size:
1 MB

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Excerpt from Chapter 1

The youthful gentleman in the scarlet coat with blue facings and gold lace, who was seated in the window of Lady Worth's drawing-room, idly looking down into the street, ceased for a moment to pay any attention to the conversation that was in progress. Among the passers-by, a Bruxelloise in a black mantilla had caught his eye. She was lovely enough to be watched the whole way down the street. Besides, the conversation in the salon was very dull: just the same stuff that was being said all over Brussels.
'I own, one can be more comfortable now that Lord Hill is here, but I wish the Duke would come!'

The Bruxelloise had cast a roguish dark eye up at the window as she passed; the gentleman in scarlet did not even hear this remark, delivered by Lady Worth in an anxious tone which made her morning visitors look grave for a minute.
The Earl of Worth said dryly: 'To be sure, my love: so do we all.'

Georgiana Lennox, who was seated on the sofa with her hands clasped on top of her muff, subscribed to her hostess's sentiments with a sigh, but smiled at the Earl's words, and reminded him that there was one person at least in Brussels who did not wish for the Duke's arrival. 'My dear sir, the Prince is in the most dreadful huff! No other word for it! Only fancy! He scolded me for wanting the Duke to make haste-as though I could not trust him to account for Bonaparte, if you please!'

'How awkward for you!' said Lady Worth. 'What did you say?'
'Oh, I said nothing that was not true, I assure you! I like the Prince very well, but it is a little too much to suppose that a mere boy is capable of taking the field against Bonaparte. Why, what experience has he had? I might as well consider my brother March a fit commander. Indeed, he was on the Duke's Staff for longer than the Prince.'
'Is it true that the Prince and his father don't agree?' asked Sir Peregrine Taverner, a fair young man in a blue coat with very large silver buttons. 'I heard-'

A plump gentleman of cheerful and inquisitive mien broke into the conversation with all the air of an incorrigible gossipmonger. 'Quite true! The Prince is all for the English, of course, and that don't suit Frog's notions at all. Frog, you know, is what I call the King. I believe it to be a fact that the Prince is much easier in English or French than he is in Dutch! I heard that there was a capital quarrel the other day, which ended with the Prince telling Frog in good round terms that if he hadn't wished him to make his friends among the English he shouldn't have had him reared in England, or have sent him out to learn his soldiering in the Peninsula. Off he went, leaving Papa and Brother Fred without a word to say, and of course poured out the whole story to Colborne. I daresay Colborne don't care how soon he goes back to his regiment. I would not be Orange's military secretary for something!'

The Bruxelloise had passed from Lord Hay's range of vision; there was nothing left to look at but the pointed gables and nankeen-yellow front of a house on the opposite side of the street. Lord Hay, overhearing the last remark, turned his head, and asked innocently:

'Oh, did Sir John tell you so, Mr Creevey?'
An involuntary smile flickered on Judith Worth's lips; the curled ostrich plumes in Lady Georgiana's hat quivered; she raised her muff to her face. The company was allowed a moment to reflect upon the imaginary spectacle of more than six feet of taciturnity in the handsome shape of Sir John Colborne, Colonel of the Fighting 52nd, unburdening his soul to Mr Creevey.

Mr Creevey was not in the least abashed. He shook a finger at the young Guardsman, and replied with a knowing look: 'Oh, you must not think I am going to divulge all the sources of my information, Lord Hay!'
'I like the Prince of Orange,' declared Hay. 'He's a rattling good fellow.'
'Oh, as to that-!'

Lady Worth, aware that Mr Creevey's opinion of the Prince would hardly please Lord Hay, intervened with the observation that his brother, Prince Frederick, seemed to be a fine young man.
'Stiff as a poker,' said Hay. 'Prussian style. They call him the Stabs-Captain.'
'He's nice enough to look at,' conceded Lady Georgiana, adjusting the folds of her olive-brown pelisse. 'But he's only eighteen, and can't signify.'
'Georgy!' protested Hay.
She laughed. 'Well, but you don't signify either, Hay: you know you don't! You are just a boy.'
'Wait until we go into action!'
'Certainly, yes! You will perform prodigies, and be mentioned in despatches, I have no doubt at all. I daresay the Duke will write of you in the most glowing terms. "General Maitland's ADC, Ensign Lord Hay-'''
There was a general laugh.

'"I have every reason to be satisfied with the conduct of Ensign Lord Hay,''' said Hay in a prim voice. 'Old Hookey writing in glowing terms! That's good!'
'Hush, now! I won't hear a word against the Duke. He is quite the greatest man in the world.'

It was not to be expected that Mr Creevey, a confirmed Whig, could allow this generous estimate to pass unchallenged. Under cover of the noise of cheerful argument, Sir Peregrine Taverner moved to where his brother-in-law stood in front of the fire, and said in a low voice: 'I suppose you don't know when the Duke is expected in Brussels, Worth?'

'No, how should I?' replied Worth in his cool way.
'I thought you might have heard from your brother.'
'Your sister had a letter from him a week ago, but he did not know when he wrote when the Duke would be free to leave Vienna.'
'He ought to be here. However, I'm told that since Lord Hill came out the Prince has not been talking any more of invading France. I suppose it's true he was sent to keep the Prince quiet?'
'I expect your information is quite as good as mine, my dear Peregrine.'

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Meet the Author

The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her historical novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or private life. It is known that she was born in Wimbledon in August 1902, and her first novel, The Black Moth, was published in 1921.

Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Heyer's large volume of works included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known also as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a mining engineer, and they had one son together, Richard.
The late Georgette Heyer was a very private woman. Her novels have charmed and delighted millions of readers for decades, though she rarely reached out to the public to discuss her works or personal life. She was born in Wimbledon in August 1902. She wrote her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of seventeen to amuse her convalescent brother; it was published in 1921 and became an instant success.

Heyer published 56 books over the next 53 years, until her death from lung cancer in 1974. Her work included Regency romances, mysteries and historical fiction. Known as the Queen of Regency romance, Heyer was legendary for her research, historical accuracy and her extraordinary plots and characterizations. Her last book, My Lord John, was published posthumously in 1975. She was married to George Ronald Rougier, a barrister, and they had one son, Richard.

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An Infamous Army (Alastair Trilogy Series #3) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best novel I have ever read. It has everything war, romance etc.... I love the romance between Bab and Charles. Let me say one thing I grew up in a war (Beirut-Lebanon)and every emotion that people experience in this book is for real. Giving parties, dancing, falling in love at first sight, horrors of war, people without limbs etc.........It's all real. I just couldn't put the book down. Thanks God I have been living in USA for the past 17 years, but you never forget those crazy days. I give 5 stars although the book deserves million stars. Her description of Waterloo is sooooooooo correct which amazes me.I have read so many books about Waterloo that hers is the best......Georgette Heyer is the best I wish she wrote more books :(
Paris182 More than 1 year ago
While Georgette Heyer is best know for her charming and amusing Regency Era romances, as well as her English country house mysteries, she wrote four excellent historical novels. The best of these is "An Infamous Army", which details life in Brussels before Waterloo. Here the frivolous mixes with the tragic, partys prepare you for battle., and relationships come at a price. In "An Infamous Army" she presents us with a well researched, character driven plot that brings to life the horror of war. The characters are sometimes sympathetic, sometimes not but always realistic, And while Lady Barbara is the heroine, I hope that most will agree with me that the most sympathetic is the voice of reason in the plot, Judith, Lady Worth. If you are a fan of history, or just of good writing, I think you will enjoy "An Infamous Army"
Ann_Qujinn More than 1 year ago
While there is a rather fluffy romance in the foreground, the background is historically accurate and the carefree life in Brussels the days just before Waterloo and the actual battle are in stark contrast to each other. The reader feels both the panic and horror of war. The battles from Quatre Bras to Hugenot to Waterloo are so good, you picture yourself THERE! Georgette Heyer's gift for making scenes LIVE, is no more apparent than in these chapters. Great for history buffs as well as romance readers!
slferguson More than 1 year ago
I read that the description of the battle of Waterloo is so accurate that it is studied at West Point and other military schools. This is besides the wonderful characters she brings to life to draw you in to the emotions and atmosphere surrounding the battle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read centered on the time of Waterloo. Romance, yes but just a sideline to the story of the war and its armies.
Indy25 More than 1 year ago
Bolstered by the stellar reviews and my own penchant for regency-era fiction, I purchased this book. It's nearly unreadable. Beginning from the first chapter, the reader is dropped in the middle of a room with the characters discussing 19th century politics and intrigue with little understanding who is who. Realistic? Certainly. Reader friendly? No, unless you are very, very familiar with the historical happenings of the time. I trudged through a few more chapters, hoping that I would decipher the characters better as the plot progressed, but alas even then, I couldn't name the protagonist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Georgette Heyer is a true master of Regency stories. In 'An Infamous Army' she once again excels in character studies, bringing back characters we have met in 'Regency Buck' and 'The Devils Cub' They are a true delight. We are swept away into the whirl-wind of activety taking place in Brussells. we Travel through the days leading up to the battle of waterloo with Wellington as he organized the Infamous Army. We meet many of the officers who lead their brigades into battle. Heyers works are very well researched, this book is my favorite. The love story is touching , a head strong young widow and a dashing, gallant, handsome young officer meet and the fireworks are not all on the battlefield. I am so glad to find Georgette Heyers books on the book shelves , new copies that have never been read, are a real treat. Most of my copies are dog eared and verrrry old. I hope to find 'An Infamous Army' in a paperback, brand new. I highly recommend reading work by this wonderful writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is third in a trilogy but I had a bit of trouble figuring out how and why. Eventually I did and enjoyed the developments. The descriptions of the period leading up to Waterloo, the personalities involved (on the British side), and the battle itself are all excellently done. History came alive a little more.
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akreaderJH More than 1 year ago
This is a somewhat technical overview of the battle of Waterloo which may turn off some readers. However, as the last book in the Alastair Trilogy it ties up the family very well - nice to know what happened to previous characters.
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I found this to be the author's hardest book to read. If I wanted a detailed history lesson, I would have purchased a textbook of that era. Iliked the basic story but was not up to the first 2 books in the triligy in enjoyment.
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Trade stuff here.
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